The Gutwein Government is continuing to fail children in Tasmania’s child protection system five years after it introduced reforms it claimed would improve conditions.
Shadow Child Safety Minister Sarah Lovell said an evaluation by the University of Tasmania of the government’s Strong Families Safe Kids program launched in 2016 has shockingly found the reforms it was claimed would improve the system have still not been fully implemented.
Ms Lovell said the UTAS review made a series of recommendations that Minister for Children Sarah Courtney must give an undertaking would be implemented immediately to provide the best possible protection for children at risk of harm.
“The Liberals launched these reforms with great fanfare when it was revealed in 2016 that vulnerable children were not being provided with care that was urgently required and it’s unacceptable that five years have passed and the promised changes have not been delivered,” Ms Lovell said.
“The child protection system must be properly resourced. The Liberal Government knows that data released by the Productivity Commission just this year showed children at risk of danger were not receiving immediate or even urgent care.
“Ms Courtney and Premier Gutwein know that Tasmania’s performance in child protection is the worst in the country.
“They know that up to 80 per cent of investigations by child protection take a month to even begin and they know the vast majority of investigations take three months to complete.
“That’s because they have continually failed to provide staff who undertake this very difficult job with the resources they require.
“Either the government does not place the importance they should be placing on child protection or they have little idea what they are doing – either way, that is unacceptable.
“There is no more crucial responsibility of any government than to look after the most vulnerable in our community and Ms Courtney is simply failing miserably in that area.”
Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Child Safety Minister