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Child Protection - Safe Pathways


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tags: Child Safety, Children, Safe Pathways

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

I listened very carefully to your response to the Opposition Leader's questions on Safe Pathways and the allegations raised in Four Corners last night.  You say Safe Pathways is already being investigated.  What was the basis of the decision to investigate?  What is the specific allegation or allegations?  How many children or young people are involved?  What is the status of the children in Safe Pathways' care?

Ms Courtney - I was wondering how many questions you are asking.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is this not a serious matter such that you think these questions should not be answered?  What a disgrace.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  This is not a time for debate.  The member will cease interjections and the member will resume asking the question.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Madam Speaker.  What is the status of children in Safe Pathways' care?  What is the reporting time line?  Why has your department engaged a for-profit  provider to look after vulnerable children?  Given the seriousness of the allegation, why is Safe Pathways still being given responsibility for children in Tasmania?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question.  As outlined before, some of the allegations are similar to what was on the Four Corners report.  As you can appreciate, under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, because this does involve specific details of a child I cannot go into specific details of the allegations.  However, my office and the department took the allegation seriously enough such that investigations were undertaken and a review is being undertaken in regard to Safe Pathways.

I have been advised that the remaining children in Safe Pathways' care are safe.  Under the agreement, child safety officers are visiting children in Safe Pathways, as required under policy.  In addition, care team meetings between the provider and the child safety service, as well as other relevant stakeholders, are occurring.

Opposition members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.  Interjections will cease.

Mrs PETRUSMA - Child safety officers will visit, because if any of the children saw Four Cornerslast night they may be traumatised.  We will be visiting each of the children today.