Thursday, 4 August 2016

  • Child abuse investigations taking longer to complete under Palaszczuk Government
  • Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates to visit Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre today
  • Shannon Fentiman hiding behind reviews review rather than acting to protect Queensland kids

Child abuse investigations are taking longer to finish on the Palaszczuk Government’s watch, according to the latest child safety performance data.

Visiting the Caboolture Child Safety Service Centre today, Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said almost half of all child abuse investigations were taking longer than two months to finalise since Labor came to office 18 months ago.

“The more we look at the March figures finally released by Shannon Fentiman, the more concerned we are about Queensland children with almost half of all investigations now taking longer than two months to complete,” Ms Bates said.

“Child safety officers are already under the pump trying to get to investigations to begin with and now we find more than 8390 of the 17,827 investigations in the year to March 31, 2016 took more than 2 months to finish.

“There are many reasons for this delay but the two most prominent are a lack of frontline staff and the increasing complexity of the cases being investigated.

“It is worrying to think that despite a reduction in notifications over the past 12 months, investigation times are blowing out.

“More needs to be done to help investigators tackle the mounting number of cases taking months to finalise.”

The latest Child Safety Performance data also revealed more than 5,900 investigations went on to be confirmed cases of child abuse in the March 2016 quarter.

“Neglect and emotional abuse cases made up more than 4,600 confirmed cases of abuse.

“How much more evidence does the Minister need for her to finally admit the system is in meltdown.

“Not only are children being left in suspected abusive homes waiting for child safety staff to knock on the door, once investigations start they are taking longer to finish.”

***Notifications with a substantiated or unsubstantiated outcome, by time taken to complete investigation and assessment, Queensland

Time taken to complete investigation and assessment year ending 30 June 2015 year ending 30 September 2015 year ending 31 December 2015 year ending 31 March 2016
No. % No. % No. % No. %
0 to 60 days 11,568 60.1 10,621 57.2 10,155 56.1 9,437 52.9
61 days or longer 7,692 39.9 7,954 42.8 7,949 43.9 8,390 47.1
Total 19,260 100.0 18,575 100.0 18,104 100.0 17,827 100.0
Source: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services