Child safety at risk as 1500 carers quit

MORE than 1500 carers quit last financial year, putting further strain on the struggling child safety system.

The Child Safety Department released its performance statistics yesterday, on the same day the corruption watchdog cleared stood-aside Minister Mark Bailey over his private email account, and they show 1509 carers left the system.

It is a jump of more than 15 per cent on the previous year, when 1300 carers left.

Opposition Child Safety spokeswoman Ros Bates said the high loss of carers put extra strain on the system.

“I have met with hundreds of carers and they all say the same thing and the reason they are leaving is the way they are treated by the department,” she said.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman has lost 1500 carers.
“It’s a failure of Shannon Fentiman and her director-general.

“The buck stops with both of them. They are paid the big bucks to keep these children safe and it’s just not happening.”

There were 1470 carers who entered the system last financial year, and 9406 children living in residential or foster care.

The department came under further pressure this week, after revelations a 25-year-old man was charged with a series of rapes of two young children in care living in his home.

Police are investigating as far back as a decade ago to determine whether the man raped other foster children being cared for by his mother.

It is expected the man will face further charges.

The performance statistics also showed almost two-thirds of child safety investigations did not start within recommended time frames.

However, Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said progress had been made to ensure the most urgent cases were started immediately.

“For the fourth consecutive quarter we are seeing more of our most urgent cases within the target time frame, with 91 per cent seen within 24 hours, up from 89 per cent last year,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We have restored frontline child safety services after the devastating cuts of the LNP and we are making massive progress with our $200 million commitment to increase the child safety workforce,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our amazing child safety staff are out there saving lives every day and we are backing them with the tools and support they need to get the job done.”

But Ms Bates said the statistics showed the extra resources put into the system by the State Government had not achieved any improvements.

“I don’t think anything has changed in the past 12 months,” she said.

“Behind every one of those statistics is a little kid waiting for child safety to come knocking on the door.”

Source : http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/1500-carers-flee-system-blaming-flawed-child-safety-department-despite-extra-government-funding/news-story/616cb433455fc05d58319fb84bcb0dd4

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