The unfinished migration
The last time the PSA met with the ChildStory Executive team, we were assured ALL data migration would be successfully completed by 18 March 2018. As stated in the PSA bulletin of 15 March we advised that “based on experience to date, it is hard not to be sceptical”. There have been some improvements but the reality is that workers still rely on access to KIDS to view historical records as ChildStory is too cumbersome and unreliable.
On 28 March Greg Wells, one of the main architects of ChildStory sent an email to all staff advising “we finished the migration of 20+ years of data from KIDS to ChildStory … records date back to 1992”.
Our scepticism was not misplaced. Members report that the majority of CIS records covering a period of 15 years have not been migrated. This raises the question as to why the Executive in charge of this HorrorStory make promises they can’t keep and then tell you something which is not true. You use (or should we say “try to use”) ChildStory to do your work and you know the truth. So who are they trying to hoodwink? The only conclusion we can come to is they foolishly believe if they keep telling everyone, including Minister Goward and the FACS Secretary that everything is fixed they may actually believe it. This is downright dishonest and disrespectful to all child protection workers.
FACS places Child Protection Workers at risk of harm
Child protection workers were already facing immense workload pressures prior to ChildStory.
Since its introduction the added stress, frustration and unrelenting demands to try and keep on top of excessive workloads have pushed many over the edge.
The PSA has heard from members, delegates and our own industrial staff of significant numbers of workers having breakdowns at work and suffering psychological injuries. Workers Compensation claims have skyrocketed. Workers are being forced to work unsafe and unpaid hours, staying late at night and coming in on weekends in an effort to stay on top of their work. We have seen examples of CSCs having up to 15 workers on Workers Compensation at one time. A recent survey of members in two districts revealed that 76 per cent of workers report that ChildStory and excessive workloads are impacting their physical and psychological health. Community Services is descending into crisis and imploding under the current leadership, but they don’t appear to give a toss! In fact they are directly responsible as they continue to impose unrealistic performance and productivity targets on districts.
This is unacceptable and we regard FACS as being in clear and blatant breach of its duty of care and health and safety legislative obligations.
The PSA has raised these concerns at the highest levels but it is apparent this department just doesn’t care. Your union cares! The PSA will now be considering all possible actions to protect you. We need to stand together and say “enough is enough; let us do our work in safety”. You will hear more from your union soon.