23 May 2013
The Public Service Association of NSW has called an emergency forum today following confirmation the State Government will disband the specialist Kings Cross Adolescent Unit, a vital lifeline for the area’s at risk youth.
PSA Assistant Secretary Steve Turner said the Department of Family and Community Services had confirmed in a letter that the Unit’s specialist team would be split up, despite the demonstrated success of its targeted child protection services.
The move goes against recommendations of the Woods Special Commission of Enquiry into Child Protection Services calling for additional expert adolescent caseworkers to be appointed.
“The break up of the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit clearly shows the Government has no effective plan for tackling the serious issue of youth at risk on the streets of the Cross,” Mr Turner said today.
“For 27 years, the specialist team has reached out to tens of thousands of vulnerable kids and removed them from the danger of Kings Cross, including drugs, alcohol and prostitution.
“The stand-alone Kings Cross unit has been very successful in working with vulnerable teens and young people and removing them from the high-risk of the notorious crime and drug hotspot – before its too late.
“These caseworkers can’t tackle serious teen issues by working regular office hours or remotely – they need to be out on the streets at night speaking with vulnerable teens and offering assistance.
“The PSA urges the NSW Government to avoid disaster and guarantee the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit caseworkers can continue work as a dedicated unit,” Mr Turner said.
What: Emergency community forum against closure of Kings Cross Adolescent Unit
When: Midday, Thursday 23 May
Where: Wayside Chapel, 29 Hughes St Potts Point
Steve Turner, NSW Public Service Association Assistant Secretary
Laurie Matthews, Caretaker’s Cottage Youth Refuge
Contact: Steve Turner 0418 675 564 / Jane Garcia 0434 489 533