Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Leader
New ‘out of home care’ statistics released by the Government in response to questioning from the Greens are alarming and raise urgent concerns for the safety of children.
Yesterday in Parliament we asked the Minister for Children and Young People to provide up-to-date figures on the number of children in out of home care who do not have a case worker, and about the timeliness of oversight from child safety officers.
The Minister’s response to our question was shocking. He shows just 50% of children in out of home care have been assigned a case worker. That means half of all children don’t have one.
Worryingly, he also revealed that only 39% of visits to these children by child safety officers have been conducted within the required timeframes – down from 56% in 2020/21 and 47% in 2021/22.*
Today in Tasmania 60% of children do not get visited by child safety officers in the necessary time limits.
Having child safety officers check on children in out of home care is a crucial part of making sure of their safety and wellbeing, so this decline in timely oversight is alarming. Given the deep concerns raised during the Commission of Inquiry and before, it is difficult to understand how the Liberals have let things to slide backwards so rapidly.
The risks to children in out of home care have been highlighted in devastating detail by the Commissioners, but rather than improving childrens’ safety the government’s policy is to do nothing while things get worse and worse.
This shocking mismanagement of out of home care system is yet another reason why Premier Jeremy Rockliff needs to step in and remove Minister Roger Jaensch from his role.
*Historical figures are taken from a report released by the Commissioner for Children and Young People - https://childcomm.tas.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2023-07-11-FINAL...