At the time of the inspection, Banksia Hill was still recovering and re-building. The new management’s priorities were to ensure the safety of young people and staff, restore stability, and build staff morale and confidence.
Overall, Banksia Hill has been far more stable since May 2017. Given the chaos of recent years, management and staff deserve respect and appreciation for staying committed to the centre and to the young people being held there. Importantly, too, the Department is currently more reflective, realistic, and responsive. However, too many basic service areas needed fundamental redevelopment or reappraisal.
Looking ahead, the Department and the government need to focus on six core elements:
- Increase and diversify the placement options.
- Invest in additional infrastructure at Banksia Hill.
- Have a plan and stick to it.
- Ensure clear, consistent leadership and management.
- Meet need.
- Deliver on promises.
There are many promising signs but Banksia Hill is still rebuilding. That momentum has to be maintained.