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All children have the right to be safe.
On behalf of the Department of Communities and Justice, I am committed to the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of all children in NSW.
I acknowledge the central role we play in upholding this right to safety as the lead agency for preventing abuse and protecting children and young people.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the failures of government and non-government institutions that had devastating consequences for children and young people in their care.
During the Royal Commission, we heard courageous victim-survivors share their experiences of physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse that should never have happened.
Adding to their trauma, this abuse was inflicted by those entrusted to care for them. We acknowledge and thank them for their courage and strength in telling their stories.
We must do better to protect children and young people in our care.
We cannot undo past wrongs, but we can make sure we do not repeat past injustices.
On 10 November 2021, the NSW Parliament passed legislation to implement the vision of the Royal Commission to ensure that this abuse never happens again.
The Department of Communities and Justice welcomes the new legislation and we will implement these necessary changes.
We have zero tolerance of child abuse. We will treat seriously all allegations and safety concerns, in line with our robust policies and procedures.
As recommended by the Royal Commission we will be responsive to the needs of all children and young people, including the cultural safety and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disability, LGBTQIA+ children, very young children, children with prior trauma and children living in remote locations.
We will ensure children's voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives.
We will ensure that child safety and wellbeing is embedded in our organisational culture, reflected in our policies and procedures, and understood and practiced at all levels of our work. We are committed to ensuring the capacity of our sector to do the same.
We will continue our work with survivor groups, NSW agencies and the Commonwealth to implement the Royal Commission's recommendations.
Together, we can ensure all children grow up safe, strong and reach their full potential.
Secretary, Department of Communities and Justice
28 February 2023
28 Feb 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.