Reportable conduct forum 2016

Over 800 representatives from across the education, out-of-home care, disability, early childhood, religious, sporting and recreational sectors attended our Reportable Conduct forum, held in Sydney on 26 February.

The NSW reportable conduct scheme was established in 1999 to provide independent oversight by the Ombudsman of the handling of child abuse and neglect allegations against employees of more than 7,000 government and non-government agencies.

The forum provided an important opportunity for us to partner with our stakeholders in reflecting on the reportable conduct scheme’s operation, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and discussing its future direction.

The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Family and Community Services, gave the opening address to the forum. Our well-received keynote speakers included the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, APM and Carol Ronken, Research Manager at Bravehearts.

The Police Commissioner highlighted the joint work of Police and the Ombudsman in tackling employment-related child abuse, and the commitment of NSW Police to supporting agencies. He spoke highly of the productive working relationship between the two agencies and its significance to the success of the Scheme. 

Ms Ronken addressed the support needs of victims of child sexual harm, and noted the importance of working collaboratively to provide child-safe organisations. She highlighted the importance of whole-of-organisation approaches to prevention, and the mitigating role that appropriate and supportive responses play for those who have experienced child sexual assault, abuse and neglect.

Lively panel discussions, expertly facilitated by Jeff McMullen, AM, brought together diverse participants to reflect on issues of relevance to the education and early childhood sector; children and young people with disability; and religious and community bodies.

The forum was extremely well received by participants. We are pleased to provide summaries of the sessions as well as the related feedback and data. The Eventpoll feedback and keynote speeches and presentations are below.

We look forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders to further the important discussions that took place at the forum and to progress the priority areas that were identified.