There are disturbing revelations of children being groomed and abducted from Victoria’s Child Protection residential care system.
A Herald Sun article today, reveals children have been going missing for long periods, only to resurface with accounts of being sold to networks of men.
Commissioner for Children and Young People, Liana Buchanan, who is investigating this issue, has confirmed police advice that there are “networks of perpetrators who circle around these residential care units and move from unit to unit precisely to target these young people.”
Ms Buchanan fears the targeting of vulnerable children in residential care has worsened in recent years: “I saw a massive drop in the number of children coming through our incident reports, the number of sexual exploitations dropped by half and I think that reflects a lack of attention.”
Ms Buchanan is also concerned that understaffing at residential care units is compounding the issue.
In 2014, Labor's platform promised to "ensure that residential care provides a supportive and safe environment for children.” Clearly, they’ve failed vulnerable children when they promised to be caring for them.
Comments attributable to Nick Wakeling MP, Shadow Minister for Child Protection:
“Disturbingly, these already vulnerable children appear to be the target for known offenders.
“The Andrews Labor Government is duty-bound to protect these children but has clearly gone missing in action.
“Serious questions must be asked about how this has been allowed to happen. For example, how do children in residential care disappear and what is the Andrews Labor Government doing when this happens?
“If this is due largely to staff shortages in residential care units, extra resources must be applied immediately.”