The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne is once again making hay from the public advocate’s assessment of the minor matter of child protection.
Under Joy Burch as Minister, the Public Advocate today found that:
— ‘Front line staff within the Care and Protection Service…were battling against systems that failed to support them…. (p8)
— ‘…lack of proper recording of the details around decision making does not allow any confidence as to whether each of these emergency responses was the right action to take.’ (p24)
— ‘The Review team did not find any examples where [the Home Safety Guideline Checklist] has been completed at any stage of the assessment process.’ (p44)
— ‘In the majority of cases there was no evidence of any assessment of the child’s or young person’s placement needs.’ (p45)
— ‘…elements of the Vardon Report remain relevant today.’ (p17)
The Public Advocate also found that:
— 25 per cent of cases didn’t include information about patterns of abuse or neglect. (p19)
— In 41 per cent of cases there was only partial or no record that a case plan had been developed after an emergency response. (p31)
— In 35 per cent of cases, the emergency carer was not or only partially given information about the young person’s needs. (p38)
In reply to the report Joy Burch has promised to spend more money and do what the public advocate says.
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Which makes you wonder why the system has to fail and the public advocate work it over to realise what should have been done in the first place.
Sadly you can’t see the report for yourself as only hard copies are available as far as we can tell. (A cynical mind might wonder if this was bumped up to coincide with the Canberra Times strike)
UPDATE 01/06/12 6:28: Unusually swiftly the full government response is now available: