18 June, 2024
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24 REPORTS, COUNTLESS RECOMMENDATIONS, NO ACTION AND NO CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN

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Today’s shocking reports of neglect in the Out of Home Care system reveals a decade of mismanagement in the state’s vital child protection services.
 
After 24 reports and no action the Premier and his Minister have serious questions to answer, first of which is why there is no Children’s Guardian in place.
 
Reports today which revealed non-government providers are charging $77,000 per month to care for two brothers, yet the children did not have enough food or school uniforms, is unacceptable.
 
It also reinforces the important role of the Office of the Children’s Guardian in keeping vulnerable children safe. 
 
The Government needs to come clean on how long the position of Children’s Guardian has been vacant for, why they haven’t filled it and who will be conducting the review.
 
NSW Labor has uncovered at least 24 reviews of the Out of Home Care system since 2011, including the Tune Review, the Family is Culture report, several Auditor General reviews, and a current review by the NSW Upper House.
 
The recommendations of the reports have been largely ignored by this Government.
 
NSW Labor supports this urgent review into the case highlighted in today’s Sydney Morning Herald article, but the Minister must also commit to fully implement the recommendations that arise from this review.
 
This can’t be another important document that gets ignored like the other 24 before it.
 
It’s the same story with this Government. Neglect and mismanagement for 12 years.
 
The current Minister is the fourth FACS Minister in three years. What’s more, over 70 per cent of kids reported as being at Risk of Significant Harm in 2020-21 weren’t seen by a caseworker, despite this being a key Premier’s Priority.
 
NSW Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Kate Washington MP said:  
 
“After 12 years of Liberal Government, the NSW child protection system has failed the most vulnerable children in New South Wales, their experiences are truly horrifying. The system is broken, and it’s breaking the most vulnerable children in the state.”
 
“The government must do more than just commission another inquiry.”
 
“The NSW Liberal government’s failure to act on previous reports, means vulnerable children continue to be failed by the state. 
 
“Since 2011, there have been dozens of reports into the Out of Home Care system, resulting in many recommendations that have never been implemented.”
 
“The most damning report, the Tune Review, was kept hidden from the public for years until a Liberal MP crossed the floor to vote on releasing it. Despite it now being public, many recommendations remain ignored.

KATE WASHINGTON MP
NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITY INCLUSION


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