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Child Protection - Safe Pathways

16 November 2016

Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for HUMAN RESOURCES, Mrs PETRUSMA

[10.25 a.m.]

Because you failed to answer this question earlier - it goes to transparency and the allocation of public funds towards the protection of children - could you please detail to the House when the funding agreement with Safe Pathways commenced and the total value of this agreement to a company which appears to be reaping enormous profits at the expense of already damaged children?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, the first payment was received in April.  There is no total contract value because it is based on individual packages.  These are special care packages, so each child costs a different amount depending on what the assessed needs of the child are.  Costs can vary and therefore so does the amount paid per week to a provider.  Whether it is a for-profit or a not-for-profit provider, the costs vary depending on the needs of each child.  As the costs depend on what each child needs, the contract is per child not for the provider. 

We have a panel of six different providers for special care packages.  When we have a child who has high needs - extraordinary needs - we go to different providers to see which provider is the most appropriate for that child.  They will then give us a cost based on the needs of that child.  I will have to take the final amount on notice because we have to look at each of the children to see what the different cost per child is and the amount of time.  It is not an answer I can provide now.

Ms O'Connor - Can you commit to providing it to the House before it rises?  Your department has access to the information.

Mrs PETRUSMA - It might be tomorrow because apparently it is a complex operation to look at the number of weeks and different children and so on.  I give a commitment we will provide it but it may not be before Parliament rises tomorrow.