Performance and Compliance Audits in Progress
Accessing services for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line
Department of Communities Tasmania
The Department of Communities Tasmania has altered the focus of Child Protection from a ‘remove child once assessed as at risk’ scenario to preserve family unit using a number of early interventions and only remove a child when all other options have been exhausted. A key platform to the reforms was the introduction of the ‘single front door’, the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line (ARL), as the entry point for all types of reporting (including mandatory reporting), requests for support and advice.
This audit will assess:
- whether the ARL, as the primary point of access, has been effective in providing access to appropriate services to support the safety and wellbeing of children
- whether the plans for the introduction of the ARL have been efficiently and effectively implemented
- whether the ARL is operating effectively to achieve better access to services for the safety and welfare of children
- whether the Department of Communities Tasmania knows whether it is achieving the objectives of the ARL.
Improving outcomes for senior secondary students in Tasmania
Department of Education
In 2015, the Government began extending all high schools to Years 11 and 12. The last high school to be extended will commence offering Years 11 and 12 in 2022. In addition, the Education Act 2016, passed by Parliament in November 2016, increased minimum school leaving requirements to: completion of Year 12; completion of a Certificate III in vocational training; or attaining the age of 18 years. The increased minimum school leaving requirements were in place from 2020. Together, these reforms aim to improve access to and participation and engagement in senior secondary education.
This audit will assess the Department of Education’s progress towards implementing education reforms, including whether the Department:
- effectively planned to implement the reforms
- effectively and efficiently implemented the reforms
- sufficiently and appropriately reports on progress and impact of reform implementation.
COVID-19 Response to Social Impacts: mental health and digital inclusion
Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Communities, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of State Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all parts of the population and has put increased pressure on the systems and organisations that address social issues. It has also highlighted, and in some cases exacerbated, existing social issues. In our report COVID-19 – Response to Social Impacts, we assessed the effectiveness of the Government’s processes to identify and agree high priority impacts which resulted from COVID-19.
This report will assess how well the Tasmanian Government addressed the additional impact the pandemic had on two priority areas:
- Situational distress: This section of the audit will consider how the Tasmanian Government provided support to members of the community generally suffering from situational distress caused by the pandemic. It will further probe into the support provided to young people experiencing distress caused by the disruption to their education and plans for the future at a critical time in their lives.
- Digital inclusion: This section of the audit will consider how the Tasmanian Government provided support to those members of the Tasmanian community who are at increased risk of digital exclusion at a time when many relied on digital technology to access essential services and keep in touch with loved ones.
Please see the Office’s Annual Plan of Work for 2021-22 for other future audits here.
If you have any information that you believe could be useful to us, please write to us at:
Tasmanian Audit Office GPO Box 851 Hobart TAS 7001