State Budget puts nearly 900 children at risk.
WA’s child protection crisis remains unaddressed in today’s state budget, with the government failing to invest in enough staff to protect WA’s most vulnerable children and families.
CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary Rikki Hendon says the lack of investment has put thousands of children who have open cases with the Department of Communities at risk.
“Right now, our child protection system is dangerously overloaded.
“Workers are carrying unsafe caseloads, and the Department is stretched so thin that it is unable to provide a dedicated caseworker to almost 900 at-risk children and families.”
“The existing demand funding model has repeatedly proven to deliver woefully inadequate staff and resources to child protection, yet the government has once again failed to address it in this year’s budget.
“It will not deliver a caseworker for every child, it will not deliver safe and sustainable caseloads for staff, it will not deliver the support foster carers need to provide a loving, stable home to traumatised kids.
“This ultimately puts already vulnerable children at additional risk.
“This is a lost opportunity to give our most at-risk children and families the best chance of a bright future, and a devastating blow to the community,” she said.
Early intervention and investing in at-risk children now, prevents future higher costs for the state including an increased chance of homelessness, incarceration, hospitalisations, and unemployment.