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SA child services vital to fix system

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016

South Australian community groups may not agree on how best to overhaul the state's toxic child protection system, but they are essential to the process, the government says.

Premier Jay Weatherill and Child Development Minister Susan Close met with 50 NGOs on Wednesday to talk about the damning findings of a royal commission into the system.

They also discussed how to address the 260 recommendations in a report from former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Nyland after a two-year inquiry.

Ms Close said child protection organisations will play a vital role in implementing the daunting overhaul, even if they don't always agree.

"I'm not expecting we'll reach consensus at every turn, but I am hoping that - through this group - we can deliver a system that better protects those children and vulnerable families that need our support," Ms Close said.

"It's important we consult and engage with these groups, to ensure that we're all moving in the same direction as we look to deliver the reforms."

Many of Ms Nyland's recommendations relate to Families SA's failure to prevent the horrific crimes of carer Shannon McCoole, who is serving a 35-year jail term for sexually abusing seven children under his supervision.

They include greater screening of child protection workers, and preventing social workers from closing case files due to a lack of resources.

Ms Nyland also recommends that all complaints of abuse by carers should be investigated within 48 hours and finalised within six weeks in most cases.

On Monday, the government committed an initial $200 million to implementing the suggested changes.

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