Alecomm Exposé of the 2014 Inquiry into Children in Out of Home Care

Conduct of child protection workers in the care courts:

  • Only 25% of cases reported that caseworkers that were subpoenaed for cross-examination actually showed up to comply with the court order.
  • 48% reported that caseworkers lied under oath committing perjury.
  • Only 2% of cases reported that the caseworkers evidence was based on fact, while 69% reported the caseworkers evidence was based on hearsay.
  • 48% reported that caseworkers omitted relevant facts that would have portrayed parents in a more positive light.  
  • 62% stated the court material contained uncorroborated stories about them.
  • Only 11% reported that the court material was objective, while 63% reported it was subjective in order to demean and belittle them as parents.
  • Only 5 cases reported that caseworkers told the truth and wrote truthful affidavits.
  • In 29% of cases the caseworker was not prepared to proceed in court on the day.
  • 57% reported the caseworker or their legal representative requested adjournments.
  • Only 13% stated that court reports were received in the court ordered timeframes, and in only 2 cases were the children allowed by caseworkers to attend the court.
  • 62% of cases reported that caseworkers were smug and pleased with themselves when they won the case and got an order to keep their children.
  • 22% reported that caseworkers hugged each other when they won, and 14% said they Hi-fived each other.

For a parent to lose the return of their child to their care in court in a system so unjust is a devastating experience, and for caseworkers to behave in such an insensitive manner exacerbates the pain, grief and loss suffered by children and their families.

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