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Dunne calls for review into neglect case

By 1 July 2008 18

ABC online is reporting that the ACT Opposition is seeking an independent review should be held into a child neglect case in Canberra.

A 35-year-old woman was last week charged with neglect after police found her four children living in squalor in a house in Ainslie.

Care and protection workers visited the family a few days earlier but found no reason to remove the children.

Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne says a review should be held into the matter.

Frankly I can’t see the point of having a review into the matter. There is no doubt that there was a monumental failure by the agencies involved, but this does not mean that Dunne should use it to score cheap politcal points. She would be better off sitting down with Katy Gallagher and working out the best way forward and how to ensure that this never again happens.

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18 Responses to Dunne calls for review into neglect case
#1
paddytrick3:24 pm, 01 Jul 08

I think the real risk to the community is if this incompetent woman ever gets a ministry in a liberal government…

#2
peterh4:31 pm, 01 Jul 08

which one is worse?

Katy for defending her staff, or vicky for taking the cheap shot?

give me party “c” to vote for….

#3
Duke4:40 pm, 01 Jul 08

There is little point in an enquiry which, if anything, will simply recommend more staff and training.

The biggest problem we have is in our mentality, not the number of staff devoted to a cause. The belief has always been that a child is better off in the custody of its natural parents, even if those parents are rotten to the core. Because of this belief (which is a community belief too, not just government) agencies and other do-gooders are loathe to take the kids away.

Compare the Ainslie case to that of the situation in Adelaide. The RSPCA were removing the dogs because of the awful conditions, but DOCS thought it ok to leave some of the older kids behind in the house. I don’t mean to be flippant but if the RSPCA were in charge of child welfare in Australia we’d see more of these cases nipped in the bud.

The ability to have a child should not give us the right to have a child. As long as we treat it as a right, not a privelage, these cases will continue to surface.

#4
hobbyhorse14:58 pm, 01 Jul 08

Thumper: If you think that:

‘She would be better off sitting down with Katy Gallagher and working out the best way forward and how to ensure that this never again happens.’

Then I think you are missing the point of how a parliamentary democracy works. If as you suggest, Katy needs her (the Shadow minister) to help ensure this happens again then maybe it is time to give the Libs a chance to fix this mess. They could hardly do worse. Remember, it years of Labor neglect that has got us into this mess.

It is hardly cheap political point scoring to suggest that an inquiry is required in this case. In fact the case is compelling and without one it is likely that this unacceptable mismanagement will continue.

#5
Ingeegoodbee5:25 pm, 01 Jul 08

Whatever you do, do not ever, under any circumstances think of Vicky Dunn when your watching that skit in Little Brittain with the fat bird at the spa resort ….

#6
amarooresident5:34 pm, 01 Jul 08

Ingeegoodbee said :

Whatever you do, do not ever, under any circumstances think of Vicky Dunn when your watching that skit in Little Brittain with the fat bird at the spa resort ….

Thanks, thank you very much. I am now scared for life.

#7
amarooresident5:42 pm, 01 Jul 08

hobbyhorse,

If you want to play the blame game, it was Carnell that cut the guts out of social services back in the day. But that’s not the point. The problem clearly is staffing and recruiting enough trained workers to do what must be a thankless and soul destroying job.

Child welfare workers are in shortage around the country and there wouldn’t be one agency in Australia that isn’t crying out for extra staff. I think we (the community) sometimes expect too much of these people.

#8
Clown Killer6:10 pm, 01 Jul 08

The article in yesterdays CT suggested that there had been a couple of instances where the department had advertised for positions nationally and not had a single response.

That’s why they seek to fill the positions internationally. Poms apparently think it’s pretty interesting and well paid work and as a result the majority of people working in the ACT child protection area are on work visas.

#9
ant9:14 pm, 01 Jul 08

As usual, a large part of the problem is under-resourcing of the agencies tasked with…. protecting children from their parents.

Perhaps the recipients of the Baby Bonus would agree to hand their cash bonanza back, to be used for child protection purposes?

No, I didn’t think so.

#10
Special G3:25 am, 02 Jul 08

Why not throw in a few more speed/road safety cameras to fund the staff increase.

On a more serious note I disagree with Thumper. A review of this case may indicate where other children at risk have been overlooked by Child protection and are in the same situation. It would also point out the staff/resource/legislation deficiencies in the area of Child protection and what needs to be done to fix it.

Governments don’t act without a review and all the things mentioned above in a document. We here in our armchairs can quite comfortably say we know what needs to be done.

#11
Thumper7:54 am, 02 Jul 08

So, are we seeing an ideological viewpoint taking precedent over all over viewpoints?

Surely in the year 2008 our systems for dealing with issues as such as this cannot be that wrong.

#12
Mælinar8:35 am, 02 Jul 08

Link the 5k rebate with a licencing scheme designed to weed out pond-scum. No licence to have children, no bonus.

#13
GnT8:46 am, 02 Jul 08

There are two ways to view this case:

1) The children were neglected and care and protection failed to spot it and remove the children when they should have been removed.

2)The children were being looked after and the police spotted a messy house and were overzealous in removing the children.

#14
Clown Killer9:58 am, 02 Jul 08

You raise an interesting point GnT. Given that charges have been brought against the mother of these children, I wonder if her legal representatives will be calling the childrens services people as defence witnesses – given that only a few days preceding her arrest they assessed the kids as being OK and that there wasn’t a lot to worry about.

#15
WhiteRabbit3:31 pm, 02 Jul 08

If youu took the kids off everyone with a filthy house you would very quickly run out of foster carers and wouldn’t be able to pay for it. If you put the kids in institutions they would be worse off. Working with troubled families is a better approach, providing the kids are safe. this woman was probably on drugs or had psychiatric problems and could have had a ‘bad patch’ since the last welfare visit where everything went to sh!t. Dont be so quick to point the finger at welfare workers, they are under a lot of pressure to get it right and they usually do. ACT child protection is the best resourced in the Country.

#16
Thumper4:03 pm, 02 Jul 08

I think this house was a bit beyond filthy.

in fact, think mugga tip and you may get close.

It is physically impossible to gather that much rubbish in such a short time unless you’ve contracted your backyard and house out to rogue garbage bin collectors.

#17
soc844:41 pm, 02 Jul 08

Good on Vicki Dunne for demanding a review of the case! If protection workers found no reason to take away the children but it’s clear there were many reasons for taking the children away, then someone needs to find out what went wrong with the process. Children have to be protected. They’re not to blame for who their parents are. And we have a moral duty to protect the innocent. That’s not a “cheap shot”. That’s doing what’s right!

#18
DJ5:27 pm, 02 Jul 08

GnT said :

There are two ways to view this case:

1) The children were neglected and care and protection failed to spot it and remove the children when they should have been removed.

2)The children were being looked after and the police spotted a messy house and were overzealous in removing the children.

Fishing? I think the Police did a good job. Knowing what little we know how can you suggest otherwise? There was something in the news about the hearing for this lovely woman…

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23957483-29277,00.html

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