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Petrusma Must Cancel Safe Pathways' Contract

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 1 December 2016

Tags: Government Procurement, Safe Pathways, Child Safety

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader

The Minister for Human Services has no choice but to accept responsibility for the Safe Pathways scandal and cancel the government contract with the for-profit provider.

Following damning revelations last month of the neglect of vulnerable children in State care by Safe Pathways, former staff have come forward with further details that compel the Minister to act.

It has been alleged by the former staff that Child Protection delivered a 12 year old girl into the 'care' of Safe Pathways, despite not knowing where she would be taken.

The former staff allege the 12 year old stayed at a staff member's house for three weeks, until a home could be found and that it was nearly impossible to get money out of the company to provide for the child's basic needs.

The State is guilty of neglecting this vulnerable child, by handing her over to a private company, despite there being no certainty surrounding her housing and in fact, no home to go to apart from the support worker's.

The Minister needs to explain. 

This scenario points to a dangerous lack of checks and balances within Child Protection, a failure for which the Minister must accept responsibility.

The Minister appears to be dragging her heels since the first allegations about this company arose three months ago. 

Continuation of the contract with Safe Pathways is untenable.