Vulnerable children failed as Labor chooses spin over support

Child Protection Minister Anthony Carbines has failed to acknowledge the dire state of Victoria’s child protection system, despite reports that more than 2,500 vulnerable children were ‘unallocated cases’ or yet to be allocated a case manager.

Today in Parliament the Liberals and Nationals demanded the release of more information about the crisis, yet Mr Carbines refuses to even recognise that a problem exists.

Recently, he sought to spin Victoria’s unacceptably high number of unallocated cases in a bizarre radio interview.

The Minister said, about unallocated cases: "I think it's a term that leaves itself open for people to be unclear about what that means and unallocated simply means that they are in the care of a team of child protection workers that they don't necessarily need an individual case management support because they're in a different part of the care system.”

He continued: “They may be already in place with family and are on their way for lesser interactions and investigations with our child protection teams or they may be escalated to individual case management."

Multiple callers, all of whom claimed to have significant experience in the system, said the minister was not telling the truth. A bemused former police officer contacted the program to voice his concern, stating: “I’m sorry, the Minister’s lying.”

Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice, Matt Bach, said unprecedented numbers of young people known to child protection have died in this term of government.

“More than half of those children who have tragically died had not been allocated a child protection worker,” Mr Bach said.

"The Minister well knows that there are vulnerable children, currently in dangerous and at-risk situations, without a case manager.

"What will it take for the Minister to accept that more children deserve to be, and should be protected?

“In downplaying the failures of the Labor Government, Mr Carbines is not only failing to tell the truth, he’s fooling no one.”

Matt Bach MP

Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice