The true extent of the state's broken child safety system has been revealed, after an expert panel report was released.
The report was commissioned after allegations questioning the safety and wellbeing of young people participating in the Many Colours 1 Direction (MC1D) program in the Northern Territory, with aims to explore therapeutic elements to improve the system.
Four key changes were recommended in the report - including a transition away from the controversial program, and the development of the Tasmanian out-of-home care system to improve efficacy and increase and enhance placement options for children and young people.
Delivering the report, panel chair Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean, said significant systemic change was needed, and the system as it exists does not meet the needs of Tasmania's most vulnerable children and young people.
"I think that the fact we needed to use an interstate therapeutic residential program like MC1D is an indication that our system has not met the needs of highly vulnerable children and young people as it needs to, we need to change it," she said.
There are currently five Tasmanian children at the program - all of whom will remain, and won't be rushed out to ensure an ease of transition.
The average age for Tasmanian children placed at MC1D is 12 years - with the average length at the program 12 months - with one participant spending nearly two years.
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Three MC1D participants were placed at the Northern Territory program directly from Tasmania's Ashley Youth Detention Centre with a magistrate having input in the process.
Other decisions were made by child safety staff.
While the recommendation was made to transition away from the program, the report highlighted the need to establish a panel of experts for any new interstate residential placements.
Importantly, effective immediately for children and young people identifying as Aboriginal, no further placements to MC1D or other residential care placement, or any other significant decisions about a child or young person's care, should occur without consultation with the Aboriginal community.
"No significant decisions should be made about the care of Aboriginal children without input from the kin and or the community that are important to that child," Ms McLean said.
Instead, the expert panel recommended developing the Tasmanian out-of-home care system to improve efficacy and increase and enhance placement options for children and young people.
Recommendations included more early year intervention support to limit the time a child may need to spend in the system, a therapeutic model of family-based care with support and interventions to support placement stability, and to procure the delivery of new programs that incorporate the positive elements of the MC1D program.
"It shouldn't be a one size fits all model, it should be very flexible to the needs of children and young people," Ms McLean said.
The report was accepted by Minister for Children and Youth Sarah Courtney on Tuesday afternoon, with all recommendations accepted in principle.
No timeline has been set as to when changes will be implemented, or details on what it could cost.
Ms Courtney said the process needed to be worked through as it crossed many government departments.
Labor child safety spokesperson Sarah Lovell said immediate action was needed to implement the report's recommendations.
"It's not enough for the Minister for Children Sarah Courtney to say she's received the report and will now discuss it with her Cabinet colleagues," she said.
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"The findings of the expert panel are welcome, including that Tasmania should be moving away from the Many Colours program, but it's incredibly disappointing that today Ms Courtney has said she will do nothing more than seek further advice from her department.
"That action is required immediately."
Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor said Tasmania had been sending at-risk young people to the Northern Territory for too long.
"It is well past time that we provided a good service here to give those young people the best chance of a good life," she said.
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