NSW Child removal rate rise slammed

NSW Community Services Minister Pru Goward has blamed a "punitive" and "risk-averse" culture in child-protection departments for the spiralling rate of Aboriginal children in the out-of-home care system that dwarfs the numbers in other parts of the country.

More than 8 per cent of Aboriginal children in NSW have been removed from their families, a situation the peak body for indigenous childcare services is now openly comparing to another Stolen Generations.

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care will this week launch a national campaign to reduce the numbers of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, calling for greater investment in early intervention and support services for struggling families.

"Removing children seems to be a knee-jerk, almost first response," said SNAICC chief executive Frank Hytten. "We need to work much, much harder at the prevention end and the reunification end."

Dozens in CPS have criminal records

Drug possession, domestic violence, repeatedly driving drunk, assault with a deadly weapon – any one of these charges or convictions could lead child protective services workers to remove children from a home or force a parent into counselling. But all of those crimes and many others appear in the backgrounds of employees of Sacramento County's Child Protective Services, a Bee investigation has found.

First of two parts

COAG recommends national registration of social workers

A national registration system for social workers is being urged by the South Australian Government in the wake of damning coronial findings after the tragic death of Adelaide girl Chloe Valentine.  ***(In fact, the social workers themselves are looking at adopting a "self-regulated" model of oversight, which will do nothing to help protect children or ensure that social workers are abiding by the laws.  Afterall, it's no different to the law society of each state regulating lawyers that pay to run the law society.*)

"Mother locks daughters in bedroom so pedophile partner can stay over"

A convicted pedophile is reportedly allowed to live in the same house as two young girls so long as their mother locks them in their bedroom at night.

The girls grandmother claims social services approved the plan before the girl's step-dad moved in, despite knowledge of his history.  She says the girls, both under the age of 13, are given a baby monitor so they can let their mother know if they need to go to the bathroom.  “The alarm and the other so-called precautions stop my granddaughters being abused are a load of rubbish,” she told the Sunday Mirror.

"Baby boy dies after being hit by government (DoCS / FACS) car in driveway of Ipswich home"

Braxton Nowlan who was run over at his grandmothers driveway in Clarke St, Ripley.

UPDATE: A Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services spokesman has this afternoon confirmed that a department car was involved in an incident yesterday afternoon in which a young boy died..

“The department is providing the utmost care and support to both family members and staff,” he said.

“The department will review this incident and this review will also be externally scrutinised. The police are continuing their investigation and will also prepare a report for the coroner’s office.”

The Department of Child Safety said due to ongoing investigations it did not intend on commenting further.

Earlier:15 month-old boy killed yesterday when he was hit by a car reversing down the driveway of his Ipswich home has been remembered as a “happy-go-lucky” child with a “smile that could lighten up a sad face”.

Braxton James Nowlan, who would have turned two in August, was hit and killed on the driveway outside his Ripley home by a government car in the tragic accident.

"Parents stunned by news of inquiry into baby’s death while in care"

Paul Jean holds his daughter, Dani Isabella Jean, shortly before she died on May 4, 2013. She was found tangled in her foster mother's bed sheets. EDMONTON - Paul Jean believed for more than a year that his six-week-old daughter had died in foster care from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

From a newspaper report in August he learned she’d actually become tangled in her foster parents’ bed sheets, and died by accident. He also believed for a long time that a Child and Youth Advocate’s report into Dani Jean’s death, released in August 2014, was the final word from the government. But on Saturday, also from a newspaper report, he discovered that the province had ordered a fatality inquiry into her death.

"Minister Bhullar says inquiry into deaths of kids in government care not needed"

Manmeet Bhullar says no enquiry is needed. Manmeet Bhullar, who will take over the portfolio when the newly shuffled cabinet is sworn in next week, said Wednesday December 18 2013 he doesn't see the need to hold an independent public inquiry into the matter, as demanded by all three opposition parties. Great concerns the 33-year-old Bhullar, who is moving from the Service Alberta portfolio, lacks the experience to shepherd Human Services, which handles child and youth issues, social programs and homelessness. 

No inquiry means we do not think these children's lives matter, so much so that we can not even be bothered to look into their deaths. There are no words to describe how disgusted I am.

Whatever it takes to keep this out of the public's view. This government's actions speak far louder than their words will ever speak. People with nothing to hide DO NOT act the way these people do. They've been everything but forthcoming with information and openness.

https://www.facebook.com/manmeetbhullarmla  (Source : http://www.advocacycanada.com/Home/AdvocacyCanadaCampaignDetails/17)

"Qld reviews foster child's crash death"

Queensland's child safety minister says there will be a full review into the case of a foster child who died when she crashed her carer's car.

Police say they were not chasing the 13-year-old when she crashed a car she had taken from her carer's home into a tree at Redbank Plains on Wednesday night.

The officers were on their way to the home the girl was sharing with foster carers when they spotted her at traffic lights.

They activated their flashing lights and the girl sped through a red light but officers chose not to pursue her, Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers has said.

Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis said the girl was known to authorities and a full review of the case is under way.

On completion it will be reviewed by the Commission for Children and Young People, she said.

The police Ethical Standards Command is also investigating the incident.

Officers were headed to the girl's Collingwood Park home after an emergency call saying the girl had become violent and had taken the car.

Mr Leavers said they spotted the vehicle at an intersection and flashed their red and blue lights.

But they made the decision not to follow her after she ran the red light.

"Police immediately stopped the intercept and got out of their vehicle and discontinued immediately," Mr Leavers told the ABC.

"The 13-year-old has taken a corner and lost control of the car and crashed into a tree and was killed instantly."

Foster Care Queensland executive director Bryan Smith said many people would be affected by the tragedy, including her foster carers, birth parents, and child protection officers involved in her care.

He said the girl's foster carers would be offered counselling.  (Source : http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/qld-reviews-foster-childs-crash-death-20120412-1wsu5.html)


"Grandmother questions foster care death by holding Leduc protest"

Delonna Sullivan dod 4 mths in Alberta Canada foster care 216caA Warburg area woman isn't giving up on her granddaughter's memory and is leading a charge to look into Alberta's foster care deaths.

The women took to Leduc's main street to protest in front of the Alberta Family and Child Services office Friday, July 15, with around a dozen supporters and hundreds of signs, some of which read "stop killing our children" "work with families not against them" and "Secrets? What are you hiding and covering up?"

"On April 5, a social worker from this office went to my daughter's place to apprehend her roommate's (two) children," the grandmother explained, speaking in front of the Leduc office. "As an afterthought they apprehended my daughter's baby, and refused to let any family member take that baby and just stuck her in a foster home on the south side of Edmonton."

An affidavit signed by a social worker two days later, on April 7, claimed that the child needed to be removed as "the infant has been subjected to disharmony in the home and the child is left with inexperienced babysitters" and her mother "appears to suffer from an alcohol addiction."

On April 8, the grandmother visited the baby at the foster parent's house with her daughter. She said that they were distressed by what they saw.

"She had poop on the side of her bum from not being cleaned up properly previously. She had such a diaper rash it was disgusting," she said.

"I asked (the foster parent) how long she had diarrhea. When we saw her on Friday she had diarrhea for three days. And I asked if she had taken her to a doctor and (the foster parent) said 'no, if she's not better by Monday I'll make an appointment.' Monday she died. She let that baby lay there and suffer for five days without taking her for any sort of medical attention."

"Death in care criticism "

THE State Government will consider new safety measures for psychiatric patients in care after a Coroner hit out at a "fatalistic professional attitude" to the risk of suicide.

Helen Jeffrey, 30, suffocated herself with a plastic bag provided by Nambour General Hospital staff on March 24 last year.

She had been admitted to the psychiatric intensive care unit after attempting suicide and became the second sectioned psychiatric patient in two years in Queensland to end her life using a plastic bag.

Maroochydore Coroner Ken Taylor last week made nine recommendations over Ms Jeffrey's death to Health Minister Stephen Robertson – expressing surprise that hospital staff had not identified plastic bags as a potential suicide aid.

"I have felt somewhat uneasy about what I shall, for the sake of convenience, term a fatalistic professional attitude towards suicide risk," Mr Taylor wrote.

A spokesman for Mr Robertson said the Minister was awaiting a copy of the recommendations which include a call to remove all objects "not uncommonly used as a means of suicide or attempted suicide".

Mr Taylor also recommended that Mr Robertson examine the feasibility of fitting remote pulse-monitoring wrist bands to all psychiatric patients held in state care.

Staff psychiatrist Keith Muir told the inquest that, in 35 years of clinical experience, he had never encountered such a death.

Asked by Mr Taylor if he was alarmed by the presence of plastic bags in psychiatric units, Dr Muir said: "Yes and no."

"The fact is that people who are determined to kill themselves . . . you know, that old expression, 'Where there is a will, there is a way'," Dr Muir said.

Mr Taylor said it was with a "considerable degree of incredulity" that he received the evidence that plastic bags had not been identified as a potential suicide aid before Ms Jeffrey's death.

Although Ms Jeffrey's family was entitled to be disappointed, the Coroner made no criticism of the standard of care.

"I am satisfied there was no wilful neglect," he said.

The Health Minister's office said plastic bags were already being removed "where ever practical" from psychiatric wards in line with precautions triggered by Ms Jeffrey's death.

But the spokesman said it would be difficult to eliminate their presence because plastic bags were necessary to line "communal" bins for potentially infectious or unhygienic waste.  (Source :http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/death-in-care-criticism/story-e6freoof-1111112550110)