There are a number of key issues impacting children and young people in South Australia that the Commissioner feels strongly about, and is committed to working with key influencers and decision makers to change.
Below you will find brief position papers on these key issues, including what the Commissioner believes needs to be done to achieve change at the systemic level.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People believes that mandatory treatment orders for children and young people violates their fundamental rights. They risk lifelong harm without actually addressing the causes of dependency, or building sustainable solutions to overcome it.
Drug Education in Schools
The Commissioner for Children and Young People believes that any anti-drug program introduced into a South Australian school should first be able to demonstrate that it is safe and effective. It should be part of an approach to drug education that includes appropriate and inclusive policies and practices that support and encourage students to engage in positive, healthy behaviours.
Raising the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility
The minimum age of criminal responsibility in South Australia is currently 10 years of age. The Commissioner for Children and Young People believes this is too low and does not align with our understanding of childhood development and how best to support inclusion and healthy development of a child’s complex needs.