Dec 20, 2017

ChildStory is impacting our ability to keep children safe

ChildStory is impacting our ability to keep children safe – December 2017 (PDF version)

Following our most recent correspondence with the Secretary (found HERE), it is clear he is not listening to the concerns of members across the Department about the serious failings with ChildStory. There is a real disconnect between the Executive and reality our members are dealing with. FACS Secretary Michael Coutts-Trooter’s response to your concerns included:

“It has been very encouraging to see caseworkers take this in their stride

And

“Changes of this scale always have some small teething issues

They have their heads firmly planted in the sand. Whether you are a Caseworker, Manager, Customer Service Officer or Head Office staff, every member who uses ChildStory is impacted. ChildStory isn’t just a problematic system, it is a system preventing caseworkers from engaging in the primary role of KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE.

Department is sinking to new low in PR spin

Your PSA has been told by members that ChildStory senior managers have been cold-calling caseworkers and cherry-picking and taking out of context what they are telling them about this deeply flawed system. The Department then uses this information as testimonials about how well they are coping with ChildStory.

The Executive somehow thinks this is helping boost morale. What it is doing is adding to the already enormous stress felt by staff in trying to do their utmost to protect the vulnerable children and families they work with.

More support urgently needed

The Department must ensure more effective and capable support staff are available on the ground. They must be practitioners who understand both the Department and the system. Every office must be resourced with a dedicated support worker – with larger offices allocated more than one. All staff must be given full access to KIDS; and this must be continued until it is confirmed that all data has successfully migrated, staff are able to easily create records and easily find all migrated KIDS records.

The Secretary and the Minister must listen now

Many members will remember the debacle of 2012, when the Minister refused to admit to Caseworker vacancies which led to the Safe Hands campaign. Members have told your union they are ready to take action and revive our campaign. We won’t leave children at risk and we won’t stand for this obfuscation. Listen to us now.

The PSA is aware many members are under enormous stress due to their inability to access the information they require to keep children safe. Any member adversely affected should lodge a WHS hazard or incident report on 1800 FACS WHS (1800 322 794).

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