Guidelines, Targets and Rules, Oh My!
If we were to track back in time, some very good reasons could be found that explain why certain systems and processes were established in Queensland for ensuring the quality of services that children, young people and families are entitled to receive. For instance: The system of licensing out-of-home care services, arose out of recommendations contained within the 1998-99 Forde Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions – this Inquiry having discovered a significant lack of accountability and consistency in relation to the quality of services being provided for children and young people living in out-of-home care.
We need to think carefully about systems and processes to ensure we do not ‘toss the baby out with the bathwater’. Here’s some questions to consider:
- Has Queensland “over-regulated” our child protection system?
- Do we, like the United Kingdom, have too many statutory guidelines, targets and rules?
- Do these guidelines, targets and rules support and assist good child protection practice or are they distractions from, or perhaps a substitute for, the exercise of professional expertise and judgement that is now in short supply?
Lindsay Wegener – Executive Director, PeakCare