Tackling the sexual exploitation of our children

Posted on 12 Mar 2014

The revelations regarding organised gangs sexually exploiting young people in residential care is shocking and disturbing. Unfortunately it’s not a new story. For many years agencies like MacKillop Family Services have been striving to address these insidious practices and help build a better future for these children and young people. This work has been undertaken by teams of skilled, trained and dedicated staff. 

Children in the care of the state are some of the most vulnerable and traumatised members of our community – it is an absolute tragedy that the very nature of their traumatic childhoods makes them more susceptible to these predators. 

This is a complex area that requires a concerted whole-of-community response. MacKillop has been working in close partnership with government, the police and other community agencies to break the cycle of exploitation. 

The way to build the safety and stability required to counter the insidious practices of these gangs is by taking a trauma-informed, therapeutic approach. All residential care homes should be resourced to operate at a therapeutic level. There are currently a number of 
therapeutic pilots operating across the state – these pilots have been evaluated and have seen dramatically improved outcomes for children.

We as a society have a responsibility to come together to protect and support vulnerable children. This requires bi-partisan support and the consequent resourcing and attention. 

We owe these children nothing less.

Media Release PDF

Who is MacKillop Family Services?
MacKillop Family Services is a leading provider of services for children, young people and their families in Victoria, New South Wales and is now establishing a presence in Western Australia. 

MacKillop delivers foster care, residential care, disability services, refugee services, youth support, education and training, family support and support to women and men who as children were in the care of their founding agencies. Further information can be found at

Media Enquiries 
Jackie Doran, Communications Coordinator - Media and Publications
MacKillop Family Services
P: (03) 9699 9177
M: 0428 029 012
E: jackie.doran@mackillop.org.au