EVERY CHILD COUNTS
For years workers in the Child Protection system have been trying to engage with the Department about their workload.
Our message has been simple; the system is stretched, workloads are unsustainable and we cannot provide adequate care to children in need.
Despite a Workload Management Order being enforced in 2007 which provided clear rules about caseload numbers and management of case complexity, these rules have constantly been bent.
Our Child Protection members provide essential support to the most vulnerable members of our community – WA children and they have had enough.
Members are joining together to campaign for a better Child Protection System and we need you to join us!
It is time that as a group we can tell the Government and the Department of Communities what action needs to be taken to fix this broken system and remind them that Every Child Counts.
Over the coming weeks, we will be holding a series of workplace meetings and kicking off a number of workplace actions so that we can win this campaign.
Talk to other union members and your Delegate about how you can get involved.
WHAT WE WANT
1 child = 1 case – every child counts / every carer counts.
This enables carers to provide comprehensive care to children and ensure that the best quality care is provided as quickly as possible.
No NLO List – every child has an allocated caseworker.
Stop hiding the cases, these cases still create work and may need immediate responses that then become reactive and not in the best interests of children or families.
Demand Funding model – to all open cases.
This ensures the adequate resourcing of staff in order to adapt to the changing requirements of a child’s care. Proper resourcing will provide safety for children in care and safer workplaces for carers.
Fix the Care Crisis – create a dedicated foster care team.
Increase the number of foster carers and provide more support for these people.
Create a dedicated Family Domestic Violence Team
Increase funding so staff are able to respond rapidly to families in need and provide them with essential support and link to services.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
In the late 90's CPSU/CSA members began campaigning against excessive workloads. They took their fight to the steps of Parliament, rallied across the State and locked themselves into District Offices. It was a long fight, but after 10 long years, the WAIRC issued Orders legitimising the Workload Management Tool (WMT).
The Tool was designed to enable staff to keep track of their caseload and maintain a reasonable maximum.
Due to under-resourcing of the Department, child protection workers now face a situation where, every month, they must move cases from their own caseload to the monitored list. This is a heartbreaking choice for professional carers - vulnerable children on the monitored list receive no active caseworker support as there is no budget to care for them.
Following the tragic murder of a newborn infant in February 2014 by the infant's troubled teenager father, delegates and representatives from the CPSU/CSA were called upon to give evidence at a parliamentary enquiry. The final report released following the enquiry found the DCPFS needed to reconsider how it managed informed decisions about dangerous cases, such as the one presented by the father, a transient teenager from Bunbury. The enquiry found systemic issues, such as inadequate resource and excessive workloads, may have contributed to the outcome of the Bunbury case, although a direct link was not found.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
Are you are CPSU/CSA Member or a member of the community who is a passionate advocate for the work of West Australian child protection workers?
Get involved in the Every Child Counts Campaign.