SA to review child protection laws

·2-min read

The South Australian government will review child protection laws in the wake of a number of disturbing cases, including two being investigated by police.

The review will include feedback from key stakeholders including children and young people, carers, families, non-government and government partners, advocacy groups, academics and those with direct experience of the system.

It will also take into account the findings of inquiries already underway, including one by a former SA Police commissioner into how authorities dealt with two families where children were allegedly neglected.

"Building an improved child protection system for the future requires amplifying the voices of those at its centre and engaging the broader community in public discussion about the intense challenges we face and what it will take to do better," Child Protection Minister Katrine Hildyard said.

"This review is a significant undertaking and we are committed to doing what we can to get it right so that South Australian children have the best chance of being raised in an environment they deserve - safe, nurturing, stable and secure."

Public submissions will open on Tuesday and a series of metropolitan, regional and Aboriginal focussed consultation sessions will be held over the next two months.

It comes after last month's appointment of former SA police commissioner Mal Hyde to investigate how government departments handled two cases of suspected fatal child neglect.

A special police task force is also investigating the deaths of a six-year-old girl in July and a seven-year-old boy in February.

The unrelated deaths are both being treated as possible cases of criminal neglect.

Upon Mr Hyde's appointment, Premier Peter Malinauskas said he wanted to ensure the investigation was completely independent of government.

"This is about making sure we have a review of integrity, of independence and robustness so we fully understand what interactions occurred between government agencies and these families," the premier said at the time.

"To see whether or not there were failures of systems that could be addressed and should be addressed."