This morning Joy Burch announced that *only* 3% of children in protection hadn’t been sighted by a case worker in the last year. This is after they went through the paperwork to figure out the right number.
Instructions from Joy Burch that her Directorate should keep better records of children in its care is a further admission of failure in the ACT care and protection system, according to ACT Shadow Family and Community Services Minister, Vicki Dunne.
“Three months after the Public Advocate’s annual report found 59 per cent of children in the care and protection system may not have been sighted by their caseworkers in a year, Joy Burch has only now asked her Directorate to properly record caseworker visits,” Mrs Dunne said today.
“I drew Joy Burch’s attention to the matter during annual reports hearings on 21 November and it was clear she had not taken note of the concerns raised, or even asked questions of her Directorate in relation to them.
“So, once again, Minister Burch was forced into action after I raised the matter. “Worryingly, this is not the first time the issue has been raised with this government. In 2004, the Vardon Report raised the issue that care and protection could not reliably tell where the children in their care were. It is alarming that this is still an issue in 2011.
“I’m glad Joy Burch has committed to proper record keeping, but I’m disappointed it has taken three months, I’m disappointed she was forced into action by embarrassing revelations, and I’m disappointed she seems motivated only as a political response.