NSW Government fails children in need, again - Public Service Association

NSW Government fails children in need, again

Government’s Out of Home Care FAILURE

On Monday, 28 November 2022, the media ran a story about two young children in Out of Home Care and the issues they faced, which were brought to light by the Courts. Questions were raised about the non-government organisation managing them and if the children were receiving the support they deserved.

A Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), Community Services Caseworker had been raising concerns about the support provided to the young people but due to a lack of resources, appropriate oversite was not possible.

Caseworkers are already at their limits and need more resources to be able to support young people and provide thorough oversite.

PSA stops government-imposed cuts to staff

On Tuesday 29 November 2022, DCJ withdrew its review and cuts of supervisory and ancillary roles. The potential cuts to frontline roles would have had a direct impact on the resources available to provide Out of Home Care and Child Protection. Rather than proceeding with cutting the resources, DCJ made the decision to try and maintain the limited resources they have.

What is clear is that resources, especially frontline, are perilously stretched and to have the Government even consider cuts beggar’s belief.

What is needed is for this government to appropriately staff and resource the most valuable service to children and families across NSW.

Government’s FAILURE to adequately resource and fund the Department

Today, Wednesday 30 November 2022, it has been reported that DCJ’s Western NSW District has not fulfilled all standards for accreditation.

The Office of Children’s Guardian (OCG) has given the District further time to reach the standards however expressed that a key reason in not maintaining is that some children and carers have had limited contact with caseworkers. Most children are being visited every 6-8 weeks.

What is needed is again more resources, where all children would see a caseworker. A fully funded and resourced Department, Western District would have the necessary frontline workers to make certain that all children, families and carers receiving the support they deserve.

Our members, and all frontline workers within Child Protection and Out of Home Care work tirelessly, work above and beyond their contracted hours, to support and help the children and families under their care.

The PSA continues to encourage our members to use the current workload planner to assist in capturing your workload, supporting the need for a fair, work-life balance and demonstrating that DCJ needs more staff, more support and more resources to continue this most crucial work.

Current resources and funding are failing to not only support Western District but are failing to support members and the young people and families across this state.

Enough is enough, we call upon the NSW Government to step up support Community Services with adequate resources, support staff in reducing burnout, stop the high attrition rates and keep the skills and experience within the Department and in their local communities.

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