NSW Parents sue for $18m after babies taken

There are concerns some babies are taken too hastily.

Figures released by the New South Wales Government show the number of babies taken from mothers by the Department of Community Services (DoCS) is on the rise.

In NSW, there has been a staggering 70 per cent rise in baby removals from maternity wards.

In 2007, 215 babies were taken by DoCS. In 2009, 363 babies were taken.

Sometimes it is justified, but there are concerns some babies are taken too hastily.

Couple awarded $50k to sue NSW DOCS

SELF-DESCRIBED hippies from northern NSW are suing the state's Department of Community Services for removing their two healthy children from their care without a good reason.
The couple - who cannot be named despite wanting to tell their story and not being guilty of any offence - were last week awarded legal costs, believed to exceed $50,000, for the fight to have their children returned.

They could not afford a lawyer so represented themselves in court. The mother told The Australian that the money would be used to pursue DOCS further. A judge has found their children were taken for no good reason, in an apparent abuse of power by welfare workers.

Hunter New England FACS office fails to meet Children's Guardian accreditation standards for out of home care

Six months: Hunter New England FACS office has an extended deadline to meet Children's Guardian accreditation standards or it will be stripped of its authority to oversee children in out of home care.

Six months: Hunter New England FACS office has an extended deadline to meet Children's Guardian accreditation standards or it will be stripped of its authority to oversee children in out of home care.THE Hunter’s Family and Community Services (FACS) office could be stripped of its authority to oversee out of home care for at-risk children after failing to meet accreditation requirements.

The Hunter New England FACS district has been given a “six month lifeline” to meet the Office of Children’s Guardian standards or have its accreditation withdrawn.

More foster children adopted after government reforms, Pru Goward says

For Meredith and Elliott Gordon, life has dramatically changed since welcoming their daughter, Kathleen, into the family.

The West Ryde couple first met their daughter when she was eight months old and came into their care as a foster child.

Last November, after caring for her for two years, they adopted Kathleen – a process that would have taken longer if it was not for reforms the NSW government introduced last year to encourage foster parents to adopt the children in their care.

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.