9.1 Young people generally find it difficult to deal with government departments.[1] Few agencies have processes, forms or information brochures that are adapted to children’s needs and level of comprehension. Evidence to the Inquiry suggests that poor inter-governmental and inter-departmental co-ordination and delays in decision making often impact adversely on vulnerable children. This chapter begins with general recommendations for service delivery standards for government agencies when administering programs that impact on or involve children in administrative or legal processes.

9.2 Income support and immigration services are presented as case studies to illustrate the need for appropriate service delivery standards. The Inquiry is concerned not with the substantive laws in these areas but with the legal processes associated with service delivery. We are concerned with issues relating to the co-ordination of services within and between governments, the protection of children at risk, young people’s ability to access services and their capacity to challenge administrative decisions that affect them.

[1] See also paras 4.11-31.