NSW child abuse inquiry should be wake-up for QLD

25 Nov 2008 3:47 PMJann Stuckey

Findings of a 12-month inquiry into Child Protection Services in New South Wales should be a wake up call for Queensland, the LNP said today.

LNP child safety spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said one of the key recommendations of the NSW inquiry was the provision of flexible prevention and early intervention services.

“The LNP have been advocating for these very services for some time now as Queensland’s Child Protection system has a poor record in this regard,” said Mrs Stuckey.

“Queensland’s Child Safety annual report indicated more children than ever before were removed from their families in 2007/08, with more than 7000 placed in ‘out-of-home’ care.

“There just does not seem to be any commitment to work closely with families who would benefit from support programs.

“Of critical importance was the fact the New South Wales inquiry called for better staff training and an overhaul of their computer system to enable better information sharing.

“Another recommendation from the NSW inquiry to have multi-disciplinary, co-located child and family services established throughout the State had significant merit, something that Queensland was lacking.

“This too-little too-late attitude of the NSW Labor Government, towards investing in early intervention strategies has proven to be lethal for some of the children under its care.

“I am deeply concerned that Queensland is heading down the same path.
Rather than try and fix the causes of child abuse the Minister has responded with a pledge to recruit 500 more foster carers.”

The NSW inquiry, conducted by Justice James Wood, was set up after several children known to DOCS died within weeks of each other, including two-year-old Dean Shillingsworth, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in a Sydney duck pond in October last year.

25 November 2008
Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919