The Commissioner for Children and Young People’s ‘Lost, not forgotten’ report, released today, has provided further evidence that Victoria’s child protection system is in crisis.
The report shows that vulnerable children under the care of the Andrews Labor Government are continuing to fall through the cracks, and aren’t getting the support they need.
The Commissioner found that:
· vulnerable children received “ineffective early intervention – characterised by delays, fragmentation, unsuccessful engagement and shallow focus”
· “despite repeated and often early reports to Child Protection, many cases were successively closed and critical opportunities for much-needed intervention and support missed”, and
· only “one in three cases featuring a complex issue will be allocated a family service” such as counselling or outreach between 2017-2018.
The findings in this report follow revelations that more than 14,400 calls to Victoria’s Child Protection Hotline were unanswered since 1 January 2018.
Earlier this year the Productivity Commission found while Victoria has the highest rate of children in child protection, it also has the reputation for one of the slowest response times for assisting and protection those same children.
There has also been a shocking rise in DHHS serious incidents involving children in state care under the Andrews Government, with no effective response.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Nick Wakeling:
“It’s unacceptable that vulnerable children aren’t receiving ongoing protection and effective intervention and it is getting much worse under the Andrews Government.”
“Both Jenny Mikakos and now Luke Donnellan have overseen a growing crisis in child protection and a failure to keep children safe.”
“Instead of mass frontline job cuts at DHHS, the Andrews Government needs to start taking child welfare more seriously, and ensure that vulnerable children get the support they need.”