JOB CUTS WILL HIT VULNERABLE KIDS - Sunday Telegraph 28/03/2021 - Public Service Association

JOB CUTS WILL HIT VULNERABLE KIDS – Sunday Telegraph 28/03/2021


Sunday Telegraph
March 28, 2021

UNIONS fear slashing 175 jobs from the Department of Communities and Justice will see more vulnerable children put up in temporary motel accommodation, costing taxpayers more than $700,000 per year for each kid.

DCJ is overseeing a 20 per cent reduction within the strategy and planning commission, which oversees outsourced contracts to private providers for child welfare.

Many of these workers are former case workers who support frontline workers to improve services and deliver preventive measures.

Stewart Little, PSA General Secretary

said many members fear welfare in NSW will become a solely outsourced affair, with more kids sent to motels while their cases are handled.

“The Berejiklian government’s relentless cuts and outsourcing of public services mean that opportunities for intervention with these kids are consistently missed,” he said.

“Welfare in NSW is now a crisis-driven system, with case workers operating in survival mode unable to deliver longterm outcomes for anyone.”

There are an estimated 131 kids in motels, according to NSW Budget Estimates.

Between 2015 and 2019 there was also a 47 per cent increase — up to 78,405 .— in the number of under 18s subject to risk of significant harm who were not seen by child protection staff.

A DCJ spokesman said “no frontline child protection roles will be affected”.

“The restructure will result in a reduction of executive and non-executive roles,” he said.

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