NT girl placed in care 50 times in six years was denied school and medical treatment

A Northern Territory woman who was placed into child protection more than 50 times over six years has told a royal commission she feels let down by the system.

A Northern Territory girl was placed in child protection more than 50 times over six years, during which she missed years of school, went to the dentist just once and wasn't treated for scabies, the royal commission has been told.

Amber alert mother issues call to arms to stand up against Queensland health system

Jacinda "Cini" Walker has called on supporters to stand up against the Queensland health system during a Facebook live video update on Saturday.

Cini Walker, the mother of four-year-old Chase Walker-Steven who was at the centre of an Amber Alert on Friday, has issued a call to arms for her supporters to stand up against the Queensland health system.

SA Government backflip lets failed kids sue

Law Society of SA: New child protection Bill is fatally flawed
Chloe Valentine’s grandmother explains why urgent changes needed.  Lawyers slam new child protection Bill.

THE State Government has been forced injto another embarrassing backflip after being caught out attempting to stop young victims, who have been failed by the child protection system, from suing for compensation.

Bendigo child protection worker on the run after police raid at his home

Cameron Allan, 44, is wanted for allegedly knowingly possessing child pornography.

It is believed Allan may be driving a white Ford Mondeo sedan with the Victorian registration number YVJ 107.

The He may be heading towards the New South Wales area of Wagga Wagga and Gundagai.

Anyone with any information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log a confidential crime report to www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/child-protection-worker-on-the-run-after-police-child-porn-raid-at-his-home-20170210-gua9mc.html

NT children's commissioner calls for residential foster care homes to be shut down

TPhoto: Northern Territory Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne says resi homes are a flawed model. (ABC News)he NT Children's Commissioner wants residential foster care services to be shut down in the Northern Territory, saying many providers fail to give the support children need.

Colleen Gwynne says residential foster care, which houses children who cannot be placed with families, is not the best model and an alternative should be found.

The system came under heavy criticism after the ABC's Four Corners program revealed claims in other states that private foster care companies repeatedly failed to support staff and children.

NT Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne said similar stories existed in the Northern Territory.

"I would say it's not a good model," Ms Gwynne said. "We often let young people down."

NT child abuse reports skyrocketing, children's commissioner report shows

 Photo: Northern Territory children's commissioner Colleen Gwynne. (Supplied: Royal Commission into youth detention in NT) Almost 1,800 children have been abused or neglected in just one year in the Northern Territory, and Territory Families failed to protect almost a quarter of them from more abuse, a new report has revealed.

The NT children's commissioner has released her annual report, finding that the number of notifications potential harm to children has more than doubled in the past five years.

Last year alone, there was a 20 per cent spike in reports, with 20,465 notifications received by the department for 10,851 children, or almost two reports per child.

Almost half of all notifications related to neglect, and almost of third of cases related to emotional abuse.

THOUSANDS of children from troubled homes will be returned to their families under a Coalition Government.

The Coalition plans to cap the removal of children for the next four years before DOCS would be asked to slash numbers by more than 20 per cent.

Under the plan, most of the more than 16,000 NSW children in foster care would be looked after by charities and the private sector.

Policy documents show the handover to the non-government sector would begin immediately if the Coalition wins the election.

The policy revelation came as the Coalition yesterday pledged a $120 million fighting fund for preventive health initiatives a day after The Daily Telegraph's People's Parliament unanimously voted for health policies to focus on prevention measures.

Liberal Community Services spokeswoman Pru Goward said that, despite fewer removals, children would be safer.

She said DOCS was now so overloaded it was failing.

Parents would be asked to enter contracts and prove they had combated problems such as drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence for a period of up to two years before their children could be returned.

A family preservation model would be adopted, with a focus on early intervention.

Foster crisis: Kids knowingly sent to carers with serious criminal charges

VULNERABLE foster children were placed in homes with carers who had serious criminal records, including rape, ­assault and drugs charges, with the full knowledge of the state government.

The Sunday Telegraph has obtained a leaked 2010 internal report that raises concerns with senior management in Family and Community Services (FACS) about five carers with serious criminal records.

One foster carer on the mid-north coast had an 18-page record, including two convictions for rape, three for assault, five for stealing, four for domestic violence and one of malicious wounding. The carer had done significant jail time.

The carer and his wife were paid $128,000 in foster payments each year to care for 10 children from 2005 onwards.

Man extradited from Qld to NSW over sickening sexual assault of 7yo girl

A man has been charged with several child sex offences following an ongoing investigation into the sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl in his care six years ago.

The 45-year-old man, who was wanted on a warrant over the alleged child assault, was arrested in Ipswich on unrelated matters last Friday and extradited back to NSW.

DOCS removed child by mistake

The State Opposition says mistakes made by the Department of Community Services over the removal of a young girl from her family should have been fixed earlier.

The Opposition's community services spokeswoman Pru Goward says a five year old girl was wrongly removed from her family and the mistake was only rectified after the intervention of the deputy ombudsman.

Brisbane mother jailed for child cruelty after toddlers found covered in faeces and living in squalor

A Brisbane mother whose children were left unsupervised in faecal-covered squalor has been sent to prison.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty and negligence in the Brisbane's District Court.

She broke down in tears as she was sentenced to 12 months' jail.

Royal Commission into SA child protection demands hundreds of changes after pedophile’s horrific crimes

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has urged voters to trust in his ability to fix child protection in the state, after a royal commission demanded hundreds of changes to the tragedy-plagued system.

But the opposition says Mr Weatherill is inextricably linked to the serious failings identified and has no choice but to resign.

Another SA carer arrested over child abuse

Another review of South Australia's scandal-plagued child protection system has been ordered after the arrest of a residential care worker who has been accused of abusing young children.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close confirmed the arrest of the man and says while she can't comment on the individual case an independent legal firm has been engaged to look into the department's employment and screening processes.

The man was believed to have been among 25 carers 'red-flagged' and suspended for a time after a 2014 inquiry into the children protection system but, along with several others, later cleared and allowed to return to work.

Premier backed down on child protection agency

Forcing the South Australian Labor government to establish a stand-alone child protection agency, with a new chief executive with specialist credentials, will help stem an exodus of social workers, the Public Service ­Association says.

The Weatherill government yesterday bowed to an interim royal commission recommendation announcing the creation of a new child protection department, splitting those responsibilities from education.

NT DCF is toxic and repressive, say staff

The death on August 6 of a work mate, believed to have been suicide, prompted several staff members of the Department of Children and Families (DCF, image from their website at right) to tell the Alice Springs News Online about serious conflicts in the local office.

They also refer to the suicide of an ex-staffer about two years ago.

The comments coincide with the Prime Minister’s appointment of a Royal Commission into detention of young people in the NT which will also examine the child protection system.

DCF said about the death on August 6 that it “extends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. As this is a personal matter, the Department has no further comment.”

The suspected suicide occurred a few days after the staff member was seen crying in the office.

One of our sources says that the CEO from Darwin flew to Alice to address the staff about the tragic event, and managers have told staff that talking amongst each other, or to outsiders about the death would be “disrespectful”.

“The department in Alice Springs is toxic, retributive, and unless you’re part of that repressive gang you’re in trouble,” says that source.

There is a massive turnover and “destruction” of staff: To survive, “they keep their heads down, their mouth shut and work as hard as they can to get out of this place.”

“Leaders” have strategies which put staff into no-win situations: They are given case management deadlines which are unrealistic and unachievable and the inevitable failure to meet these deadlines is recorded in the staff files.

If a staff member then wants to apply for transfer to another department, this information can be given to the interview panel, which can also obtain references from members of the “inner circle”  –the DCF team leaders who are in a position to put damaging information before the panel.

“This hugely constrains getting work elsewhere,” says the source. That in turn binds the lower level staff to the DCF and increases their vulnerability to bullying and exploitation.

The fact that few complaints are lodged – almost exclusively because of fear of retribution, say our sources – is commonly cited by the upper echelons as proof that there are no problems.

DCF says it “has a cultural organisational framework that outlines the core values of respect, courage, integrity and trust that underpin behaviour in the workplace.

“The department values and invests in its staff and any complaint is taken seriously and investigated.

“The Department encourages staff that may be experiencing difficulties to report their concerns and utilise the support services offered.

“If you are aware of any staff that may have a complaint or concern, please direct them to any manager or Department of Children and Families complaints.”

But our source says use of ‘divide and conquer’ methods are standard in this “very punitive organisation”, isolating people and groups: “Different groups are called together and given bits of information and then are being told not to talk about it to other staff,” says the contact.

“Yelling at staff, imposing unreasonable workloads, isolating staff, spreading rumours, encouraging them not to engage with particular workers who are a ‘bad influence,’ putting people down, talking to them like to a school-child, rolling eyes, dressing someone down in a public forum, wagging finger, eye glaring” are all in the arsenal of the “oppressive clique,” says the source.

“Stifling debate amongst the staff by declaring matters confidential, discouraging workers from having support people with them when they are in a performance management meeting, or pretending it is a case management meeting in which a support person would not be needed” are among of the strategies.

While the massive staff turnover is expensive in financial terms, the costs to the clients – the children – is inestimable. While it is vital that the case workers build up a relationship of trust and understanding, the 400-odd children in The Centre who have been taken away from their families are faced with three or four different case workers in a year.

Payments of up to $1000 a week per child are being made to carers, says our source, money that could be spent on helping parents to set up a functioning household.

Child Safety sibling case drags on for three years

A JUDGE reviewing a child- protection case for two young siblings has criticised the ­Department of Child Safety for regularly changing its mind about who should have custody, with the case dragging on for more than three years.

District Court Judge Helen Bowskill said the sister and brother, aged 9 and 8, had been subject to revolving temporary custody orders since a child-protection officer first lodged a court application in 2012 and would now have to wait longer because of errors made by a magistrate.

Queensland child safety staff stood down

The jobs of a dozen Queensland child safety staff are on the line after a report exposed "serious errors of judgment" in the handling of the case of dead toddler Mason Jet Lee.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman on Wednesday revealed three staff had been immediately stood down on full pay and a further nine were facing an ethical standards investigation into the matter.

An initial report into the case identified shortcomings at the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre but made no finding of systemic failures across the department.

Police Commissioner calls bulls--t on child protection stolen generation claims

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has called for the threshold to remove children from dysfunctional families to be lowered.

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has again lobbied to lower the threshold for children to be taken away from extremely dysfunctional families, labelling claims he was advocating for another stolen generation as "bullshit".

Mason Jet Lee: Child protection staff stood down over 'errors of judgement' after report into toddler's death

Twelve protection staff facing disciplinary action for "errors of judgement" leading up to the death of Caboolture toddler Mason Jet Lee should not be made scapegoats for what is a flawed system, a union has said.

Three child safety service centre staff have also been stood down after the 21-month-old's death from peritonitis in June.

Mason suffered traumatic injuries in the day before his death.