Report - Public hearing 33 - Violence, abuse, neglect and deprivation of human rights: Kaleb and Jonathon (a case study) (Auslan)
- Auslan translation
Report on Public hearing 33 – Violence, abuse, neglect and deprivation of human rights: Kaleb and Jonathon (a case study)
The Disability Royal Commission held Public hearing 33 in Brisbane from 8 to 10 May 2023.
Public hearing 33 was a case study about two young men, brothers Kaleb and Jonathon. Their names have been changed to protect their identity.
The brothers have disability and the hearing examined their experience of violence, abuse, neglect and deprivation of human rights. We held the hearing to ask why and how it happened. In total 13 witnesses gave evidence.
We wrote a report about this case study. This video is a summary of the report.
The brothers live with significant global developmental delay, intellectual disability and autism. Kaleb and Jonathon have limited verbal communication. Their father Paul Barrett was the sole carer for most of their lives.
In May 2020, Queensland emergency services found the brothers in their home, naked and locked in a room with no bedroom furnishings. Paul Barrett was found deceased in another room. There was faeces on the floor. The brothers were taken to hospital and treated for severe malnutrition.
Findings and recommendations
We made three findings:
Kaleb and Jonathon experienced violence, abuse, neglect and the deprivation of their human rights in the care of their father.
The violence, abuse, neglect and deprivation of their human rights was preventable.
Queensland departments and agencies that engaged with the family should have done more to prevent Kaleb and Jonathon experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and the deprivation of their human rights.
We made several recommendations directed to the State of Queensland. They included the following:
The State of Queensland should provide training and resources to its staff who have responsibilities for children. The training and resources should address how bias and discrimination occurs when engaging with young people with disability at risk of experiencing violence, abuse and neglect.
The State of Queensland should immediately incorporate the experiences and voices of people with disability, particularly children and young people, in the child protection system. This includes incorporating their voices on committees that make decisions for children and young people with disability.
The State of Queensland should review child protection laws relating to mandatory reporting. They should consider whether they should apply to all Queensland Police officers, and if not, why not?
The State of Queensland should acknowledge and apologise for failing to prevent the brothers from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and deprivation of their human rights.
The State of Queensland should consider offering redress, such as counselling or compensation to Kaleb and Jonathon, including additional support and assistance they may need.
To read the full report, visit our website. Search ‘Public hearing 33’.