The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to redesigning the broken child protection system.

We have consistently said that the fact that we have vacancies in child protection positions demonstrates that the issue lies with the system and not resourcing.

Our commitment to full occupancy of every position in CPS has not changed. Consecutive recruitment processes have been occurring for over 12 months now and are continuing.

On 13 October, the independent Tasmanian Industrial Commissioner noted that we had advertised vacancies on 11 occasions since April 2015 and said: “No blame can attach to the employer as to the recruitment efforts over the last six months.”

We know our child protection workers are facing difficult circumstances and that’s why we are redesigning the system.

Since 2 November, a total of 6.7 full-time equivalent child protection workers have commenced work, with another four starting in January and a further three candidates also recommended for appointment.

The Department has also employed a consultant to improve recruitment and retention, and established a working party to remove recruitment barriers, speed up appointments and improve staff retention.

In regard to the North-West, as I told Parliament in September, an investigation by the then acting secretary of the unallocated notifications found it was not due to resourcing as the region had fewer cases per worker than elsewhere in the State.

Again, we are redesigning our child protection system, and it’s about time that Ms O’Connor got on board rather than played political games from the sidelines.

Our vulnerable children and our child protection workers deserve better than that.
Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services