[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.

Safe Pathways had its lucrative contract with the Government cancelled last December after former staff came forward to accuse the company of rorting and neglecting the children in its care.

The ABC initially sought this data through a Right to Information (RTI) request in January, but the department fought hard to keep the information private.

It took intervention from the office of Tasmania's ombudsman and subsequent direction for the information to come to light.

In the correspondence, Mr Morrissey told Ms Petrusma:

"I am obliged to indicate my concerns around the wellbeing of children still placed with Safe Pathways given the allegations that have been made in relation to the quality of service they apparently provide," he said.

"Although the department is undertaking a review of Safe Pathways' service delivery, I remain concerned about the wellbeing of the children still placed with Safe Pathways."


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