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.

The State Government is reviewing its agreement with private provider Safe Pathways after a series of complaints about the way Tasmanian children under the business’s care have been treated.

MORE: SAFE PATHWAYS PROGRAM UNDER REVIEW

Former staff have also alleged to the ABC TV’s Four Corners program that children under the care of Safe Pathways were surviving on a pittance and going without basics such as food, clothing and healthcare.

This was despite the company being paid about $9000 per week per child by the Government.

There are currently 11 children under the care of Safe Pathways.

Raising the issue in State Parliament today, Labor and the Greens pursued Ms Petrusma over her response to the allegations.

This government is determined that all children in Tasmania will receive the care they deserve.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green asked Ms Petrusma if Tasmanian children were still in the care of Safe Pathways and if they were living in actual houses as opposed to hotels or caravan parks as alleged on Four Corners.

Ms Petrusma said her department had assured her that all children involved were safe and in appropriate accommodation.

“The fact is a review is being undertaken, a full investigation is occurring, this government is determined that all children in Tasmania will receive the care they deserve,” she said.

Greens leader Cassy O’Connor asked Ms Petrusma to detail the total cost of the Government’s contract with Safe Pathways.

Ms Petrusma said there was no total contract value because the agreement was based on individual packages.

Safe Pathways has been contacted for comment.

Source : http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/safe-pathways-subject-of-full-investigation-says-human-services-minister-jacquie-petrusma/news-story/7a807dc49ca6558af533975e081557b7

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