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Queenslander to lead SA child protection

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

Queensland-based child protection expert Cathy Taylor says she doesn't underestimate the challenges of heading up South Australia's crisis-plagued child protection system.

Ms Taylor will take up her new role as head of the Department for Child Protection on October 31.

Her appointment is part of the government's commitment to implement a recommendation from a recent royal commission to split child protection from the broader education department.

She says the issues facing child protections systems across the country are significant.

"This is really complex work and it's going to require all of us working together to better respond to the needs of young people," she said.

"One of the challenges is how we better target energy and effort to those families who most require support and assistance."

The royal commission into child protection in SA handed down 260 recommendations after a two-year investigation sparked by the horrific offending of carer Shannon McCoole who is serving a 35-year jail sentence for abusing seven children under his supervision.

The report called for greater funding, earlier intervention and a quicker response to reports of abuse.

Premier Jay Weatherill apologised for failing to keep children safe and said on Wednesday that Ms Taylor's appointment was a significant milestone in delivering a fresh start for the state's child protection system.

"After an international search we're satisfied we've found the ideal person to lead our child protection system, to give the children of South Australia the care and protection they need," he said.

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