The State Government will create a special secure unit to restrict the movement of children at risk of harming themselves or others.
Child Protection Minister Sue Ellery announced today that the Department for Child Protection had allocated $3.8million for the modification and operation of the Kath French Centre in Stoneville to create a secure facility to contain young people in need of high levels of care and supervision.
“These are the children who are deeply affected by their experiences before coming into care, children at risk of harming themselves or others, and we want to give them every opportunity to lead fulfilling lives,” Ms Ellery said.
“The small number of young people who need this intensive help will be placed in a locked unit with six to eight beds, where they will have access to a range of internal and external specialists from both health and education services.”
Ms Ellery said that in the State Budget, the Department had allocated $1.2million for capital works to upgrade the facility, with a further $2.6million over four years for the operation of the unit. This was part of the $100million allocated to act on the recommendations of the Ford Review into the former Department of Community Development.
“The locked facility will be highly secure and once intensive therapeutic services have been provided other placements will be made,” the Minister said.
“There will be strong controls that balance the young person’s rights when they have not committed an offence, with the duty of the State to protect young people in the Department’s care from harm, including self harm, and to protect the community.
“We will be looking at introducing legislation to create a new Children’s Court Order called a ‘Therapeutic Treatment Order’.”
Ms Ellery said it was anticipated the unit would be completed by January 2009.
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