First hearing to address child sex abuse allegations

THE Royal Commission addressing institutionalised child sexual abuse will centre its first public hearing on how three agencies dealt with abuse allegations regarding a NSW children's services boss.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing will examine how organisations, including Scouts Australia, Hunter Aboriginal Children's Services and the Community Services Department, dealt with the allegations linked to Steven Larkins.

Larkins was the Hunter Aboriginal Children's Services chief executive officer before he was convicted of child pornography possession, which included videos of young boys.

The royal commission's week-long public hearing will investigate how information was shared between the agencies and how Larkin's Working with Children Check was carried out.

It will also look at whether organisational factors may have influenced responses to allegations and information.

The hearing will begin on September 16 in Sydney.

Royal commission chief executive officer Janette Dines said it was important to remember the commission had not been set up to examine individual cases of alleged abuse.

"The royal commission has been asked to look at where systems have failed children in the past and identify what institutions and government should do to better protect children in the future," said Ms Dines.

Parties wishing to participate in the hearing need to make a written submission through the royal commission website: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au


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