Only 1-in-4 Child Safety staff at frontline

2 Dec 2008 3:45 PMJann Stuckey

With just 605 frontline officers employed in the Child Safety Department’s total of 2448, the State Opposition has demanded answers from Minister Margaret Keech.

LNP child safety spokeswoman Jann Stuckey said the Minister needed to explain to Queensland taxpayers why so few staff were working on the frontline.

“A key recommendation of the Crime and Misconduct Commission review into child protection was to cut the overall level of bureaucracy in the Department and focus on frontline staff and service delivery to deal with the massive number of cases,” Mrs Stuckey said.

“Clearly the Minister and her government are ignoring this key point.

“Heavy caseloads are over-burdening child safety officers and staff are leaving in droves.

“These figures place a big question mark over the Minister’s claims that staff in her Department are her ‘No 1 priority’. It would seem that some staff have a higher priority than others.

“I acknowledge the need for a reasonable level of support staff, IT people and corporate managers, but when the ratio of bureaucrats to frontline staff is so high, questions need to be asked,” Mrs Stuckey said.

Mrs Stuckey said she was disappointed with the Minister’s answer to her Question on Notice No. 1578 (attached below).

“The Minister only seems interested in spruiking about how much money she has in her budget, rather than how it’s being spent.

“The LNP has long maintained that this is not an issue about money. It’s about how taxpayers’ funds are managed to deliver the maximum number of staff on the ground dealing with abused children in our society.”

2 December 2008

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919