Child Protection Reform

The Attorney-General's Department

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Child Protection Reform

On 29 November 2016 the South Australian Government responded to to the findings of the Child Protection System Royal Commission, The life they deserve

The response, A fresh start, can be found on the Department for Child Protection's website

Children and young people have a fundamental right to grow up happy and cared for, to be kept safe from harm and to be supported to fulfil their potential.

A fresh start aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, their families and the broader South Australian community by proposing extensive improvements to our state’s child protection system.

It responds to each of the recommendations from the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission, but also goes further to develop a broader child development system. This system begins before birth and seeks to avoid children ever needing statutory child protection.

This reform will require a collaborative effort and long-term commitment. Child protection is everybody’s business and parents, carers, communities and non-government service providers all play critical roles. 


The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission conducted a comprehensive investigation into the laws, policies, practices and structures in place for children at risk of harm, including those who are under the guardianship of the minister.

It’s report, The life they deserve, was delivered to the Governor on 5 August 2016 and described a system in urgent need of reform, pushed beyond capacity and with critical matters slipping through the cracks. In the report, Royal Commissioner Nyland made 260 recommendations for improvements to the child protection system.

The government’s initial response to the Royal Commission’s findings, A fresh start, was released on 29 November 2016. In preparing its response, the government undertook extensive consultation with the non-government sector, government agencies and the broader community to understand the potential impacts of each recommendation.

Want to know more?

Visit the Department for Child Protection’s website for a copy of A fresh start and to view the government’s response to each Royal Commission recommendation.

Latest reform updates


Posted on 28 March, 2017
On Tuesday 28 March 2017, the government filed amendments to the Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017, which is currently before Parliament.
Posted on 13 February, 2017
State Parliament's first sitting week for 2017 will include debate on new laws governing South Australia's child protection system
Posted on 11 December, 2016
What are your responsibilities under the new legislation?

See all Latest updates