Greens Launch Child Safety Plan

Australian Greens

Cecily Rosol | Lead Candidate for Bass

The Greens have today launched a child safety plan to invest in keeping children safe and supporting staff working in highly stressful conditions.

The Greens will:

  • Fight to fix the shortage of child safety workers by employing 40 staff each year to 2030
  • Push to abandon the ‘team model’, and return to single dedicated case workers for each child in care
  • Advocate for a maximum case-load for child safety workers, and provide $10,000 bonus to workers each year until average caseloads meet safe levels in recognition of the difficult working conditions
  • Offer incentives to recruit and retain staff – including paying off university debt, providing housing, and improving leave access and entitlements

“Whistleblowers, unions and the Commission of Inquiry have shone a light on just how dire child safety services in Tasmania have become; there’s no denying the systems underpinning our child safety services are falling apart.

“The terrible state of Tasmania’s child safety system is a direct result of a decade of Liberal neglect. After 10 years of funding that’s not even met the bare minimum, no-one can pretend this issue can be solved overnight, but if we’re going to keep children safe and alleviate pressure on staff then immediate and significant action must be taken.

“I’ve seen firsthand as a foster carer the deplorable impact staffing shortages can have on child safety officers’ ability to do their job properly. Until this critical issue is prioritised children’s voices will continue to go unheard because case managers simply do not have time to engage thoroughly.

“One example of the shocking state of child safety is the Liberals’ dangerous move to a ‘teams-based’ model of care in the system. Every child is supposed to have their own case worker looking out for them, but the lack of staff has now meant large groups of children are being overseen by a small number of staff.

“The Children’s Commissioner has raised the alarm about the ‘teams-based’ approach, saying it violates the rights of children and has further negative impacts on workers. The Greens are fighting to do what the Liberals have refused to do – resource child safety properly, tackle staff shortages, and make sure every child has a dedicated case worker.

“The Greens stand ready to work across party lines to ensure meaningful investment is made to keep children safe, and to support staff working under immensely stressful conditions.”

/Public Release. View in full here.