Vulnerable children not getting adequate support

There are still hundreds of vulnerable children in Western Australia missing out on much-needed support and care because of a lack of case workers.

Our members at the Department for Child Protection and Family Support are part of the campaign to get more case workers so less children are on monitored lists while waiting to be allocated a case worker.

Being on a monitored list effectively means a team leader will only occasionally query how the child is going instead of them having a dedicated case worker looking after them.

Case workers develop plans to support children who have complex needs and challenging behaviour that requires individual care arrangements and not just an occasional check.

The CPSU/CSA says the only way to address the issue is to employ more staff.

“We need additional case workers so every child receives timely support, something we have been seeking for years,” branch assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said.

“Putting on additional case workers last year was a small step in the right direction, but we need many more.

“If the Barnett Government does not give Child Protection and Family Services adequate funds to employ more staff there will always be a massive shortfall and children will miss out.”

Since 2006-07 the number of children in care had doubled but in that time there had not been an appropriate increase in the number of case workers employed.

“It is all well and good for the government to come out and say they have employed more staff but the reality is staff are telling us they are struggling with workload and there are hundreds of children not getting the appropriate support.

“There is a demand model in place that is supposed to inform Child Protection what resources they should get – they are supposed to get more resources as the number of cases increase.

“Clearly that model is not working as the government is not putting in enough funding.”

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