News, media releases

Child safety system at breaking point under Liberals

The report released today by the Commissioner for Children and Young People confirms what we’ve known for years – that Tasmania’s out-of-home care system is at breaking point under the Liberals and vulnerable children are falling through the cracks.

Of particular concern among the report’s findings was data demonstrating that more than 40 per cent of children in care did not have a current case and care plan approved within last 12 months, which is a breach of the National Care Standards.

Furthermore, only 56.2 per cent of required visits by child safety officers to children in care were conducted within required timeframes.

This worrying data supports what we have been hearing from Child Safety Officers for years – that they are badly under-resourced and unable to keep up with workloads.

Despite this, the Liberals are cutting resources, with the report also outlining that State Government expenditure in out of home care services has decreased by $16,776,000, or 17.6 per cent since 2018-2019.

It was also concerning – although not surprising under a Government that prefers to obfuscate rather than face up to scrutiny –  to read that there were difficulties in obtaining and verifying information that led to delays in the report being able to be finalised and released.

Children and young people in out of home care are among the most vulnerable members of our community, and good quality information is critical in ensuring oversight of the system and safety of these young people.

It is beyond time that the Liberals got their priorities right and stopped neglecting the most vulnerable in our community and a workforce that is stretched far beyond what is safe or sustainable, all while obsessing about projects we don’t need like a billion dollar stadium.

Sarah Lovell MLC
Shadow Minister for Child Safety
Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations