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BANJUP RESIDENTS GROUP (Inc.)

Rural Residents Must Be Heard !!

News

DCP - Determining 'Current Risk'

Posted by Ian Thurston on April 11, 2011 at 3:18 AM Comments comments (0)

The Department of Child Protection has written to explain how it assesses the 'current risk' of children in its care. They say:

"The Department will determine ‘current risk’ through a combination of assessments which will consider the child’s or young person’s previous behaviours and current social and psychological functioning. Where risk factors are identified, they will be dealt with through ongoing day to day programming, behavioural intervention and professional interventions such as counselling and/or medication (if deemed appropriate by a medical professional). As previously mentioned, Residential Care Plans and Safety Plans are developed for the children and address both short term and long term factors.

If the Department does not believe that these interventions will be effective or that the past behaviour of the young person poses too high a risk to the community, then the Department will not place this person in the home."

Your Committee welcomes comments on this page as to whether residents find this explanation satisfactory.

DCP Risk Management Plan

Posted by Ian Thurston on April 8, 2011 at 10:51 PM Comments comments (0)

At the Information Night on 29 November, the CEO of the Department for Child Protection, Terry Murphy, committed that "his department would welcome [Banjup Residents] involvement in the preparation and subsequent 3 monthly monitoring of the risk management plan for the care home on Liddelow Road".

On 15 March, the DCP published to Banjup Residents a Fire Management Plan that was just a template and needed to be customised to be specific for the Banjup home.

We met with DCP directors on 21 March and pointed out that fire management was only one of the risks that needed to be managed at the DCP home and that if their plan had been prepared in accordance with Australian Standards, then their plan would have been much more complete and, because Banjup residents would have been involved in its preparation, the plan would have had more ready acceptance and support.

We presented to DCP a critique of the DCP plan prepared by Dan Franklin, a BRG member and practising risk manager. Dan had also prepared a 'skeleton' risk management plan for the children's home that the DCP agreed to build upon and publish to the BRG committee by early May.

Your Committee hopes that the DCP's revised risk management plan will be much more comprehensive and reflect Banjup residents' perceptions of the risks and not just the DCP's perceptions.

Your Committee thanks Dan Franklin for the valuable inputs that he has made.

Commitment Not to Place Certain Children at Banjup

Posted by Ian Thurston on April 8, 2011 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The DCP appeared to have diluted the commitment made by the CEO in November that: "the Department for Child Protection would not place at Banjup children who exhibit behaviours such as sexual aggression, fire setting, and animal cruelty". Instead, they now say that:

Previous behaviour that includes lighting fires, harming animals or sexual aggression will be identified prior to any placement being made. The Department will not place children in the Banjup Home where the child’s behaviour poses a current risk to the community’.

The BRG Committee asked DCP to explain how they assess 'current risk'. We now understand that the children will be subject to an assessment process that involves consideration of historical, existing, and future risk factors. If the DCP does not believe that their treatment will be effective or that the past behaviour of the young person poses too high a risk to the community, then the Department will not place the child in the home.

The DCP has also committed to providing six-monthly statements from independent assessors that the DCP is fulfilling its promise that child with unacceptable behaviours is placed at the Banjup home.

Your Committee believes that the DCP's commitments are about the best that can be provided but we would welcome your comments.

Monitoring DCP's Commitment

Posted by Ian Thurston on April 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Your Committee is concerned that, despite the DCP's commitments, children with unwanted behaviours might still be placed at the Banjup home. We would have no way of monitoring the commitment because, rightly, the children's case files are highly confidential.

The Committee is pleased to report that the DCP is proposing to utilise an expert review panel to review the case files of children placed at the Banjup home every 6 months. The panel would be able to certify whether or not the Department is keeping to its commitment not to place children with dangerous behaviours at Banjup.

DCP Information Night

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 19, 2011 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

BANJUP CONCERNED RESIDENTS

NOTES OF AN INFORMATION EVENING

29 November 2010 7:00pm

Oakford Community Hall

 

Seventy five residents of Banjup attended a meeting to learn about the Therapeutic Care Home to be opened by the Department for Child Protection in early 2011 at Liddelow Road, Banjup. The meeting was also attended by Joe Francis, the member for Jandakot, and six representatives of the Department for Child Protection.

 

Members of the residents' group who have been working since July to understand the home's likely impact on the Banjup community made a 20 minute presentation of the facts that they had discovered, including:

 

• What is a ‘Therapeutic Care Home’

• What types of children will be resident there

• What are the risks to Banjup residents

• Why Cockburn Council considers the home a normal dwelling

 

The presenters stressed that Banjup had great sympathy for the children who would be at the care home. Residents were concerned, however, that a small minority of children might be prone to fire setting, animal cruelty, and aggression. Residents wanted to know how the Department for Child Protection would manage the risks to the Banjup community that such children would present.

 

After the residents' presentation, the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection, Terry Murphy, described how the Therapeutic Care Home would operate, what, in general, would be Banjup residents' experience of the children living there, and how the Department would manage the risks to the Banjup community.

 

In a lively session, Terry Murphy then answered questions from Banjup residents. To allay residents' concerns, Terry Murphy declared that the Department for Child Protection would not place at Banjup children who exhibit behaviours such as:

 

• Sexual aggression

• Fire setting

• Animal cruelty

 

Terry Murphy then assured the Banjup community that his department would welcome their representatives' involvement in the preparation and subsequent 3 monthly monitoring of the risk management plan for care home on Liddelow Road.

 

The meeting closed at 9:00pm but afterwards the DCP representatives spoke with individual Banjup residents to clarify their understanding.

 

Banjup residents kindly donated $140 to cover the costs incurred so far by their representatives. The balance of $48 that now remains will be used in the establishment of a Banjup Residents Group that will liaise with the Department for Child Protection in the future.