Government putting spin above safety in release of shocking child safety data

Tasmanian Labor

Tasmania’s child safety
response times are among the worst in the country, more than half of all
investigations take more than three months to complete and the number of cases
that are substantiated stands at a staggering 80 per cent.

Shadow Minister for Education
and Early Years Josh Willie said Tasmania’s data from the Report on Government
Services released today also shows 24 children in the care of the government
were subject to sexual, physical, emotional abuse or neglect.

“In the absence of the
Minister responsible for Child Safety Sarah Courtney who is holidays, Minister
Roger Jaensch has done his best to spin this information and convince
Tasmanians that everything is fine,” Mr Willie said.

“But if the Liberal Government
thinks this data is OK, that tells Tasmanians everything they need to know
about their approach to child safety.

“The government cannot
seriously expect Tasmanians to accept that it is OK that our response times for
investigations are still the worst of any state and that a far higher
proportion of investigations are substantiated.

“Because of the government
reforms, children requiring statutory action deserve a quick response because
it is likely the claims will be substantiated.

“The government should be
acting on the fact that 54.5 per cent of investigations take longer than 90
days to be finalised.

“The fact is on Ms Courtney’s
watch, Tasmania’s child safety system remains critically under-resourced and
workers at the frontline who face one of the most difficult and confronting
jobs have been badly let down.

“It’s shocking and
unacceptable that clearly the Gutwein Government is not providing frontline
child safety workers with the resources they urgently need to ensure all
Tasmanian children are safe and all reports of children at risk are able to be
investigated in a timely way.

“What is it going to take to make Ms Courtney give Child Safety Service workers the resources they need to perform a difficult job and ensure every Tasmanian child is safe?”

Josh Willie MLC

Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.