A year after the state government acknowledged it needed to do more to protect at risk children, Tasmania still trails well behind the rest of the nation.
Shadow Minister for Child Safety Josh Willie said while government spending on child protection has increased, it’s not improving outcomes for children.
“Less than 9 per cent of investigations start within a week of notification, and nearly 80 per cent don’t start for a month.
“When the investigations do begin, nearly 65 per cent take more than three months to complete, compared to a national average of less than 40 per cent.
“In short, it’s taking too long to start investigations and too long to complete them.
“What that means is there are vulnerable children in potentially abusive or neglectful situations, waiting longer and longer for the child safety service to investigate a notification.”
Mr Willie said the compassion espoused by the new Premier, Peter Gutwein, must be applied to child protection.
“Frontline workers have been working under extreme pressure for too long. They don’t have the resources needed to tackle a case load that remains far too high.
“The government acknowledged a year ago that there were ‘areas for improvement’ but nothing has changed for child safety workers and children at risk.
“Failing children at a systemic level is reprehensible.”
Shadow Minister for Child Safety