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Child safety investigation and response times worst in the nation under Jaensch

  • 60 per cent of investigations take a month to commence
  • 60 per cent of investigations take up to three months to complete
  • Latest figures show almost 300 reported cases not allocate to child safety officers

Investigations into the vast majority of reported cases of children at potential risk are not launched until 29 days or more after they are received.

Shadow Child Safety Minister Josh Willie said at the same time it had been revealed this week that the number of children left unallocated to a child safety officer had quadrupled in the past year, the recent Report on Government Services revealed unacceptable delays in both staring and completing investigations into reports received by the Liberal Government.

Mr Willie said only 20 per cent of reports were responded to within a week in Tasmania in 2017-18.

He said only 20 per cent of investigations were completed within a month during the same period with the great majority taking up to three months or more.

“The reason for that is clear – the Hodgman Liberal Government and Minister Roger Jaensch have comprehensively failed to provide child safety officers with the resources they need to adequately do their job and ensure kids are kept safe,” Mr Willie said.

“The clear fact is that children are being left at potential risk.

“Minister Jaensch can no longer try to defend what is clear to everyone else – child safety officers have been pushed to breaking point and children are being left vulnerable.

“It’s not good enough that children reported to be at potential risk are being left with no response for a month or more.

“It’s not good enough that the Hodgman Government has failed to provide the resources needed for care placement visits, access visits, reuniting families, respite, care plans and a range of other services that are impacting the three teams across the child safety service.

“In fact it’s downright dangerous and the Hodgman Government needs to finally get serious about an extremely serious situation.”

Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Child Safety Minister