Too little, too late won’t protect vulnerable children

Too little, too late won’t protect vulnerable children
Saturday, 10 June 2017

· Only one in four newly-announced staff are desperately needed frontline officers
· Thousands of vulnerable children continue to be caught in child safety backlogs
· LNP left Labor with $406 million in extra funding until 2018 for and an extra 77 frontline officers

Newly-announced Palaszczuk Government measures are too little, too late from a do-nothing Child Safety Minister who was warned in 2015 that her department was under-resourced.

LNP Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said Labor had consistently promised the world on protecting children but delivered only disaster and dysfunction.

“No amount of money will mend the broken hearts of the kids who are still waiting for this do-nothing Labor Government to fix the system that is designed to protect them,” Ms Bates said.

“It’s not about how much money you throw at the system, it’s about having the right people, with the right skills in the right place – that’s what child safety staff across Queensland are telling me.

“We’ve seen Labor throw good money after bad at the Department and it doesn’t fix the system which is in crisis.

“Child Safety Officers I talk to on the ground say Labor are struggling to fill existing child safety roles let alone any new ones given the toxic culture in the Department.

“Child safety has lurched from crisis to crisis under the incompetent Minister Fentiman since day one, and something has to change.”

Ms Bates said nine children had died in suspicious circumstances under this Labor Government, while about 50 child deaths were known to the Department in this financial year alone.

“Thousands of suspected abuse cases are caught in investigation backlogs right across Queensland,” she said.

“We’ve also seen more than 400 kids shoved out of the system as teenagers with no exit plan or direction.

“The LNP left Labor with a record $406 million in extra funding until 2018 for child safety and an extra 77 frontline officers, as well as an extra $20 million in contingency funding – how much new money has there been?

“Only an LNP Government can build stronger families by ensuring the child safety system is put back on track.”

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