$406.3 million cut will shatter community services in NSW - Public Service Association

$406.3 million cut will shatter community services in NSW

Funding cuts of $406.3 million to the Department of Community Services revealed in media reports today will have serious impacts on the ability of child protection workers to keep children and families safe, according to the Public Service Association of NSW.

The cut of almost half a billion dollars in funding will exacerbate protracted understaffing, ongoing job cuts and cuts to early intervention services already hitting staff and services across NSW.

“NSW’s most vulnerable children and families are placed in extreme danger by budget cuts, understaffing and overburdening of community services staff,” Assistant Secretary Steve Turner said today.

“Today’s media report confirms what we’ve been saying – the O’Farrell government isn’t serious about improving services for vulnerable children – they want to cut services and slash case worker jobs.

“Over the past months, community services child protection caseworkers at more than a dozen offices have walked off the job in protest at the tragic impact of chronic understaffing and a lack of resources.

“There are vacancy rates of up to 30% for caseworkers in Sydney’s western suburbs, elsewhere in the state vacancy rates are as high as 40%. NSW needs caseworker vacancies filled, not massive cuts to budgets and staff.

“We desperately need vacancies filled across the board – not just caseworkers, but the frontline staff who support caseworkers to do their job with vulnerable children and families.

“To make matters worse, the Government has abandoned a central recommendation of the Wood Review and dumped plans to improve the existing computer system designed to free up caseworker time and there is no plan B.

“Community Services doesn’t have enough staff, and because the system’s so poor, caseworkers are stuck at their desks rather than working face-to-face with children and families in need.

“You can’t do child protection on the cheap – our kids deserve better – and we’ll fight these cuts every step of the way,” he said.

Contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533 / Steve Turner 0418 675 564


Related Posts

Back To Top