Too many Tasmanian children remain at risk without the immediate intervention or care of child safety officers in a system that remains unacceptably under-resourced.
Data released by the government shows this month there are 56 children in what the government refers to as “active transition” – reported as being at potential risk but not allocated a case worker to ensure their safety.
Shockingly, the Rockliff-Ferguson Government has revealed one child has remained in active transition for more than seven months at 224 days.
Additionally, the government’s own data shows there are 105 Tasmanian children subject to care and protection orders who are without an allocated case worker.
The government also clarified in Parliament that children are only allocated to people with workers compensation claims where those staff are at work on reduced duties.
The alarming data comes as Minister for Children Roger Jaensch pushes ahead with a misguided plan to move current child safety responsibilities from the Communities Department into the Department of Education. A similar move in South Australia had disastrous results, resulting in a Royal Commission.
This is a costly distraction which would take frontline staff away from their core business of keeping children safe and should be abandoned or at the very least delayed until after the findings of the current Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse .
With our child safety services under-resourced and at breaking point and so many children being left without care after being reported at risk, it is vital that more resources are allocated to the frontline and appropriate decisions are being made now.
Sarah Lovell MLC Shadow Minister for Child Safety