Rockhampton child safety crisis continues

Rockhampton child safety crisis continues
Tuesday, 2 May 2017

· Suspected child abuse cases have jumped more than 1,000 to 11,492 in December quarter
· October 2016 more than 65 cases were closed in Rockhampton – 23 of which were confirmed cases of abuse, the highest in the region
· October 2016 shows only 20 per cent of child abuse reports in Central Queensland requiring a 10-day response were actioned in time

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed Rockhampton families with the latest December child safety data showing the system has stalled under a do-nothing secretive Labor Governemnt.

Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said the December figures showed a significant increase in suspected abuse cases in Central Queensland.

“We have seen reports of suspected child abuse jump more than 1,000 to 11,492 in December quarter in Central Queensland alone,” Ms Bates said.

“Almost every day in Rockhampton child safety officers are finding children being abused in homes.

“These are some of the worst figures since before the Commission of Inquiry into Child Safety and it is simply shocking.”

Ms Bates said the shocking new data comes on the back of the death of a baby who died in Yeppoon earlier this year.

“Tragically in March this year a six-month old baby died at Yeppoon after being missed by child safety officers despite concerns being raised in January this year,” Ms Bates said.

“His death occurred while waiting in an investigation backlog at the Rockhampton child safety service centre.

“Rockhampton is in a worse state than Caboolture and staff are stretched to the limit.

“While Labor dithers children suffer and our child safety system spirals further into crisis.”

Ms Bates said Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister Shannon Fentiman were not only failing to protect Queensland children, but putting child safety staff in the most stressful of situations.

“Labor’s Child Safety Department is in complete disarray and is imploding fast,” she said.

“The crisis and growing backlogs engulfing child safety investigations are nothing short of a scandal.

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