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CEO Welcomes Mikus Report

CEO Welcomes Mikus Report

The Chief Executive of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services today welcomed the release of the Chief Social Worker’s Report: Lessons Learned from the Mikus Case Analysis – Moving from Reaction to Prevention.

“I commissioned this report because of the high level of concern in the Department and the public in general about how serious child sex offenders are managed. This report reviews a 30-year case history of Jules Mikus to see what improvements to policy and practice could be made to better identify sex offenders’ behaviour and the risk they pose to children,” Ms Pivac said.

“The findings of the report that are of most concern to me are that:

our staff need to improve knowledge and awareness of identifying sex offenders’ behaviour and how best to manage their risk to children

our systems do not support our staff as well as they could when staff become aware of situations where convicted sex offenders are able to have contact with children and young people.

“The Chief Social Worker has made 12 recommendations about actions that the Department can take to improve its management of sex offenders and their contact with children by improving:

the knowledge and understanding of the behaviours and risks associated with sexual offenders; and

Child, Youth and Family’s systems to assist staff when they are involved in these situations.”

Ms Pivac said the Department has already begun work to implement all 12 recommendations in the Chief Social Workers’ report.

“Work is already underway to implement policy and training mechanisms that will enable staff to be better equipped to profile sex offenders, be alert to client safety in relation to sex offenders and be better able to investigate and assess notifications where such offenders are involved,” she said.

Details of the recommendations and the Department’s actions relating to each are in the attached document.

“I welcome the fact that the Chief Social Worker in her report says that current policy is largely sound. However, it is clear to me that we can better equip our staff to identify sex offender behaviour and to manage the risks to children. We have identified actions to improve our practice in this regards and I am making this a priority for the Department’s work programme,” Ms Pivac said.

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