The Child and Young Person’s Visitor (CYPV) is an independent government role established by Chapter 9 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) and will report to Parliament through the Minister for Child Protection. The CYPV promotes the best interests of children and young people who are under court orders granting guardianship or custody to the Minister for Child Protection and who are living in residential care.
Penny Wright was appointed the inaugural Child and Young Person’s Visitor on 26 February
2018 for a term ending on 9 July 2022).
The CYPV’s powers and functions are outlined in section 118(1) of the Act. They are to:
- conduct visits to, and inspections of, residential care facilities
- communicate with children living in residential care facilities
- promote the best interests of children living in residential care facilities
- act as an advocate for children living in residential care facilities to promote the resolution of issues to do with their care, treatment and control
- inquire into and provide advice to the Minister in relation to any systemic reform
needed to improve the care, treatment and control of residents or the management
of residential care facilities.
In performing these functions, the Act requires the CYPV to pay particular attention to the needs and circumstances of residents who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or who have a physical, psychological or intellectual disability.
Although the functions and structure of the CYPV scheme have been legislated, the scheme has not yet formally commenced. The Guardian completed a two year trial visiting program in September 2019 to inform the necessary arrangements and resourcing of the CYPV scheme when it is permanently established. The final report of the trial program will be available soon.