Maitland caseworkers walk out over staff cuts and budget cutbacks - Public Service Association

Maitland caseworkers walk out over staff cuts and budget cutbacks

Community services child protection staff Maitland have stopped work for an hour this morning over concerns about the impact of inadequate staffing, according to the Public Service Association of NSW.

PSA General Secretary John Cahill said understaffing and a lack of resources means the overwhelming majority of vulnerable children being brought to the attention of community services are not being seen by caseworkers.

“Over the past months, community services child protection workers at more than a dozen offices have walked off the job in protest at chronic understaffing and a lack of resources,” Mr Cahill said today.

“Chronic understaffing means only one in ten children known to be at risk are receiving face-to-face visits from caseworkers in NSW.

“Caseworkers at Maitland and across the state have been placed in the impossible position where they simply do not have the resources to follow up the vast majority of children assessed as being at risk of serious harm.

“Staff find themselves overwhelmed by high levels of administrative red-tape and chronic staff shortages that stop them from essential face-to-face work with vulnerable children and their families.“

“The Government is clearly failing some of the most vulnerable members of our community – children needing its protection.

“The State Government must fill all community services vacancies – not just caseworkers, but the frontline staff who support caseworkers to do their job with vulnerable children and families.

“It should urgently address the failure of the computer system designed to free up caseworker time and other administrative issues keeping staff desk bound rather than out meeting children and families,” he said.

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

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