The Performance Measures for Child Protection in the DHHS Annual Report make it clear the system designed to protect some of Tasmania’s most vulnerable children, is in significantly worse shape than it was under the previous government.
Notifications are increasing. There are four times as many children waiting for an investigative response from Child Protection compared to any time over the past three years.
Less than 20% of investigations are being completed within a month and just over half of the at-risk children have approved case and care plans, far fewer than in the past.*
In the past year, the average number of children waiting each day for a response from Child Protection has increased from 15.5 to 65.5. That’s four times the children waiting to be allocated to a Child Protection worker for investigation over the past year, and eight times the number in 2013.
This is a terrible indictment on the priorities of the Hodgman Government.
These is on top of the 151 child protection notifications that were ignored in the North West last year, and the ongoing Safe Pathways scandal. The Annual Report is very clear – Human Services Minister, Jacquie Petrusma, is failing Tasmania’s vulnerable children.
The DHHS Annual Report reveals that an increasing number and too many Tasmanian children are made more vulnerable at a time of crisis, with the Minister is missing in action.
These are some of the State’s most at risk and vulnerable children who Minister Petrusma is failing.
Last week, Minister Petrusma blamed everyone else for the Safe Pathways scandal. It’s way past time she took responsibility for the children in the ‘care’ of the State.
These children and the damning numbers in the DHHS Annual Report are the Minister’s responsibility.
* http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/233252/DHHS_Annual_Report_-_2015-16_-_FINAL.pdf (page 37)
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader and Human Services spokesperson