Media release – Roger Jaensch, Minister for Human Services, 3 November 2020

Review into Many Colours One Direction program

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of Tasmania’s children and young people, especially those in out of home care, is an absolute priority for the Tasmanian Government.

Today, I am releasing the review report into the Many Colours One Direction (MC1D) program initiated by the Government in late September.

The review investigated the following;

  • the safety and wellbeing of each of the young people currently at MC1D;
  • the allegations and matters raised through the media;
  • the effectiveness of current oversight and due diligence mechanisms in place for MC1D; and
  • the overall effectiveness and outcomes of the program including therapeutic benefits for young people.

The review undertook comprehensive and detailed investigations, in line with the Department of Communities established principles for assessing allegations relating to children and young people in out of home care. This included direct discussions with the young people themselves in the Northern Territory.

The review concluded “the young people residing at MC1D are safe and well, and this is measured in context of their safety and wellbeing if they had remained living in Tasmania and/or if they were to return home before they are ready”.

The review has made four recommendations, which have been accepted by the Government in full, as follows:

  • Progress support and opportunities for young people at MC1D – This includes providing additional practitioner support for the young people on the ground in the Northern Territory.
  • Progress opportunities for independent monitoring and oversight of Tasmanian young people residing at MC1D – The Government will work with MC1D to support their participation in the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children’s Out of Home Care Systemic Monitoring Program.
  • Progress the establishment of a Tasmanian program similar in design to MC1D – The Department of Communities will conduct a national jurisdictional analysis of similar programs and convene an expert panel to provide advice on the establishment of a Tasmanian based program by 30 June next year.
  • Development of Tasmanian information and resources for media reporting on Children and Young People, similar to reporting on other sensitive issues such as suicides. The Department will engage with the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People and media outlets to develop information and resources to assist media in their reporting on children and young people.

The report comprehensively details the range of oversight mechanisms in place to ensure that the young people are safe, have what they need to thrive in the program and to transition back to Tasmania when they are ready to do so.

However, we will continue to closely monitor the effectiveness of the MC1D Program to ensure it continues to operate as intended.

Anyone who has specific concerns for the welfare and safety of any Tasmanian children and young people should contact the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 so their concerns can be properly considered.

The report can be found here:

Media release – Josh Willie MLC, Shadow Minister for Child Safety, 3 November 2020

Government shamed into action on Brahminy

The outcome of a review into the Brahminy program is an indictment on Roger Jaensch’s handling of child safety.

Shadow Minister for Child Safety Josh Willie said the main recommendations of the review are to put in place safeguards, support and oversight that should have already existed.

“The recommended safeguards should have been in place before a single Tasmania child was put into this program.

“What’s deeply concerning is that Roger Jaensch has only acted to look into the program when persistent concerns were raised by Labor and the Tasmanian media.

“Roger Jaensch has been shamed into action after his mishandling of this issue. He acted only when this became an issue for him personally in the parliament and in the media.

“The review has also recommended establishment of a Tasmanian program for at-risk children. Again, Roger Jaensch is being pushed into action because he hasn’t had the political will or courage to develop a program in Tasmania.

“It remains firmly Labor’s view that the right place for these at-risk children is in a Tasmanian program, and we urge the government to waste no further time making that happen.”

Source: Tasmanian Times