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Premier Youthworks loses child protection contract

HUNTER-BASED welfare provider Premier Youthworks has lost a major contract to care for troubled children but the change is apparently part of a broader shakeup of out-of-home care by the NSW government.

Salvo boy 'not' peadophile [murder] victim

An inquiry has heard the Salvation Army was naive about the handling of sex abuse claims. Source: AAPA supplied photo of the Salvation Army home at Indooroopilly

A BOY who ran away from a Salvation Army home in Queensland and was feared murdered turned up years later in court in NSW.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told records show that the former resident of the Indooroopilly boys home made several court appearances in NSW between 1977 and 1983.

That was years after he was thought a victim of a pedophile ring alleged to be operating between Queensland and Sydney in 1975.

Detective Superintendent Cameron Harsley, operations manager for the child safety and sexual crime squad in Queensland, said there were no historical records to show the boy was ever reported missing.

Safe Pathways subject of ‘full investigation’, says Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma

HUMAN Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma has faced a second day of pressure over accusations about the treatment of children in out-of-home care.

Bodies of 'hundreds' of children buried in mass grave

The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, southern Scotland, according to an investigation by BBC News.

The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns.

At least 400 children are thought to be buried in a section of St Mary's Cemetery in Lanark.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, which ran the home, refused to comment on the findings.

Investigation exposes fraud within taxpayer funded Jobs Services Australia

AN INVESTIGATION has uncovered a massive taxpayer rip-off perpetrated not by “dole bludgers” sponging off the unemployment system — but instead by the agencies tasked with finding people jobs.

Unemployment in Australia is at 6.4 per cent, its highest rate in 12 years. But an investigation by Four Corners has found that a billion-dollar taxpayer funded scheme created to help job seekers find a work is instead being used to keep the money flowing to employment agencies.

There’s evidence that both private and charity job agencies are “gaming” the Federal Government’s work scheme Job Services Australia, which it spends about $1.3 billion on every year. Some organisations have already had to pay back more than $41 million worth of false claims in the past three years.

Investigation exposes fraud within taxpayer funded Jobs Services Australia

Corruption in Government unemployment scheme

AN INVESTIGATION has uncovered a massive taxpayer rip-off perpetrated not by “dole bludgers” sponging off the unemployment system — but instead by the agencies tasked with finding people jobs.

Unemployment in Australia is at 6.4 per cent, its highest rate in 12 years. But an investigation by Four Corners has found that a billion-dollar taxpayer funded scheme created to help job seekers find a work is instead being used to keep the money flowing to employment agencies.

There’s evidence that both private and charity job agencies are “gaming” the Federal Government’s work scheme Job Services Australia, which it spends about $1.3 billion on every year. Some organisations have already had to pay back more than $41 million worth of false claims in the past three years.

The agencies receive money for every person they look after, with thousand-dollar bonuses available if they find the person work. In 1998 the Federal Government essentially privatised the system so in order to keep their unemployment benefits, every jobseeker had to register with a charity or a private job agency.

But with 780,000 people competing in Australia for just 150,000 jobs, there is not enough work to go round and the agencies have found other ways to make money.

[Un]Safe Pathways: Children's Commissioner's concerns for kids in care of for-profit provider revealed

Tasmania's Children's Commissioner raised concerns about the wellbeing of children in the care of a provider accused of neglect more than a week before the children were removed, the ABC can reveal.

Mark Morrissey wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Minister Jacquie Petrusma about Safe Pathways in a letter, one of a number of documents released after a six-month legal battle in the wake of ABC TV's Four Corners program exposing the allegations of child neglect.

Nothing to see here? The abuse and neglect of children in care is a century-old story

Last night's Four Corners program presented evidence of widespread abuse and neglect suffered by children in the out-of-home care system. Sadly, it was an all too familiar story. The Australian care system has been subject to criticism for over a century.

Children described bullying, harassment and sexual abuse inflicted by other children who share their homes.

Children also described adult men preying on and sexually exploiting girls in "resi" or residential, care.

"Salvation Army says Sorry for Abuse"

The physical scars may have faded but the emotional ones remain raw for thousands of Australians who were abused while growing up inside children's homes.

So an apology by the Salvation Army for the abuse of children in its care up to the 1990s was welcome news for many of the survivors who gathered in Canberra on Tuesday.

The organisation's chief of staff Barry Swanson travelled from London to speak on behalf of the Salvation Army chief General Shaw Clifton.

In the event that was closed to the media, the Salvation Army acknowledged the "rigid, harsh and authoritarian" environment inside many of its homes.

"Many children did not experience the gentleness of love that they needed," the apology, later distributed to media, read.

"Some children suffered abuse and deprivation. As a result their stories are full of hurt, rejection, discouragement and a failure to realise potential.

Government recovers over $41 million worth of false claims after 'rorting' of Job Services Australia scheme

The Federal Government has clawed back more than $41 million worth of false claims by private employment agencies in just the past three years.

The agencies are contracted by the Government under a privatised welfare-to-work program called Job Services Australia (JSA), a sprawling $1.3 billion-a-year scheme designed to get the unemployed into work.

A Four Corners investigation has found rorting of the scheme is rampant. Forgery, manipulation of records and the lodgement of inflated claims for fees are widespread.

Safe Pathways housed girl with staff while getting $240,000 to care for her, says former staffer

Fresh allegations have been levelled against Safe Pathways, with former staff telling the ABC the foster care provider failed to give adequate care to a 12-year-old girl.

The troubled for-profit organisation is subject to an ongoing government review that was expanded after the ABC's Four Corners program alleged Safe Pathways was not providing adequate care to its children.

"Salvation Army victim vows to tell all"

GRAHAM Rundle was seven when he was first raped at a Salvation Army boys' home in South Australia and placed in a "lock-up", 18 when he first tried to commit suicide, 48 when he turned to the Salvos for justice, and 58 when he comprehensively beat them.
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He is now 61 and ready to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse after angrily rejecting the Salvation Army's apology this week for horrific abuse at its NSW and Queensland homes.

"They're bastards," he said.

"I was repeatedly raped as a child in the 1960s but they abused me again in a different way when I reported it as an adult, and they didn't have to do that.

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