Child Protection in Crisis: NSW Day of Action - Public Service Association

Child Protection in Crisis: NSW Day of Action

Child Protection Caseworkers will protest outside Community Services Centres across the state tomorrow at 12:30pm over unacceptable risk to child safety in NSW.

Only one in four children reported to Community Services as at risk of significant harm (ROSH) are being seen by a Child Protection Caseworker, as there simply isn’t enough staff to meet the demand for critical services.

The Department’s own data shows last year, 113,668 Children and Young People were reported as at ROSH in NSW with only 26,143 of them seen – that is 23 per cent of all ROSH reports. In some parts of the state only 15 per cent of children are seen.

As it stands, more than one in 10 Child Protection Caseworker positions are unfilled in NSW, meaning the Caseworkers that are left are coping with the extra workload of colleagues who have left.

One in two Child Protection Caseworkers leave in their first two years of employment with the Department.

The PSA has called on the NSW Government to immediately:  

  • Recruit another 500 caseworkers
  • Give caseworkers an immediate and substantial pay rise
  • Deprivatise Out of Home Care

Premier Chris Minns needs to intervene, said PSA General Secretary Stewart Little.

“The most vulnerable children in NSW are at risk of serious harm, or even worse, because child protection caseworkers are chronically understaffed and exhausted,” said Mr Little. “Child Protection Caseworkers are now concerned that by exposing vulnerable children to a broken system they may suffer even more harm.

“Chris Minns needs to immediately onboard another 500 Child Protection Caseworkers to address the attraction and retention crisis in child protection, otherwise the system will collapse.

“To be fair, the current NSW government didn’t create this mess but it’s up to them to fix it.

“Child Protection Caseworkers are passionate about their work, and they want the people of NSW to know no urgent child protection responses will be impacted during their protest, and that skeleton staffing will be maintained at all times during this protest.”

All off-duty PSA members who can attend are warmly invited to join us.

Your union has notified the Department of Communities and Justice regarding the campaign event and will work with Community Services to ensure all urgent response arrangements are maintained.

Click HERE to download a copy of our Event Briefing Package.

For more information on tomorrow’s Day of Action events, contact the PSA’s Communities Team on 1800 772 679.

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