Family Violence Counselling and Support Services staff in the state’s north have walked off the job today in protest of chronic under resourcing and understaffing.
Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Michelle O’Byrne said today’s unprecedented action was a desperate cry for help from frontline workers who were dealing with unmanageable caseloads.
“This crucial service has less than 10 full time staff state-wide but it deals with about 6,500 referrals each year,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“In Tasmania’s north 2.76 full time staff deal with about 2,000 referrals each year and last financial year that equated to 646 referrals for each worker.
“The Premier’s newly announced Safe Homes Families Communities Action plan will do nothing to resolve the underfunding of the service.
“It does not put much-needed additional funding into the FVCSS which needs additional staff to respond appropriately to the families who either seek support or are referred by police.
“Additionally, FVCSS North is unable to offer the medium to long term counselling component that has in the past been a key feature of the service.
“This devalues the support that FVCSS are able to offer to clients and devalues the skills that workers have refined over many years.
“Premier Hodgman – as the new Minister for Prevention of Family Violence – must immediately act to increase the staff at FVCSS to ensure that families are supported.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP
Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family Violence