The PSA remains concerned about the excessive caseloads carried by caseworkers and the diminishing administrative staff who support our Caseworkers in caring for the most vulnerable children in the state.
Despite raising low staff morale and the unreasonable demands placed on Caseworkers and their colleagues in administrative support positions in frontline offices with FACS Secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter, our members see no change.
Child protection specialists, Psychologists and Legal Officers also report unreasonable workloads.
The PSA has highlighted concerns that responsibility and accountability for the department’s inadequate resourcing in child protection and OOHC was being pushed down onto frontline staff. We have further highlighted that unreasonable caseloads, coupled with the emotional challenges of working in child protection are being reflected in high rates of sick leave, workers compensation claims for psychological injury and secondary and vicarious trauma experienced by staff.
Recommendation 19 of the NSW Government response to the Upper House Enquiry to Child Protection
“That the Department of Family and Community services in consultation with the Public Service Association and staff, set caseload targets for caseworkers, taking into account the complex nature of child protection work. This recommendation was merely noted and not supported.”
No agreement with the Department on caseload numbers
It has been reported to the PSA that Caseworkers are being directed to carry caseloads of 17 cases and that the PSA has agreed to these quotas.
The PSA has not agreed to any number of cases and maintains that cases are allocated using the workload planner. No Caseworker should be allocated cases over 140 hours per the workload planner month. The PSA maintains all Caseworkers carry a manageable caseload.
Safe Hands campaign
The PSA is revitalising the Safe Hands campaign as a direct result of not being heard by both the Minister and the Secretary despite raising your issues time and again.
It is time to fight back to ensure all children reported as at risk of significant harm receive the level of support to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Increase the power of the PSA by encouraging your colleagues to join the PSA online at www.psa.asn.au, or see your delegates for membership forms.
Stronger, Together – A unionised workplace is a fairer workplace
To arrange a meeting at your office please contact PSA on 1300 772 679.