Dr Howard Bath has been the NT Children's Commissioner since June 2008. In this role he has a particular focus on the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families, a majority of whom are Aboriginal and living in town camps or very remote communities. In 2010 he was co-chair of an Inquiry into the child protection system in the NT which produced the Growing them Strong, Together report. Howard has a long history as a practicing Clinical Psychologist, agency director, trainer and researcher in child and family services with a particular interest in services for children and young people with high needs in the child protection and juvenile justice systems.
This webinar was held on 21 November 2013.
Following a brief review of the circumstances leading up to and during the Intervention, Howard Bath reviewed the available data on safety and wellbeing, starting with the vexed issue of the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children - the ostensible trigger for the Intervention. Data on the current safety and wellbeing of women and children across the NT was presented along with a discussion of the services and supports that are available to help address these needs.
The seminar included discussion on the need for partnership and collaboration between mainstream services and targeted Aboriginal service providers and the prioritisation of capacity-building ventures. It concluded with a call for a more evidence-informed approach to service delivery in the NT, including sound needs assessments, service designs that are research-based and culturally congruent, and funding that allows for ongoing impact evaluations.