Government Drags Feet on Child Protection Reform
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
A Crime and Misconduct Commission report into child safety has revealed the Beattie Government has failed to fully implement a raft of child protection measures tabled almost three years ago.
Queensland Coalition Shadow Minister for Child Safety Jann Stuckey said details from the CMC report, released today, showed the Department of Child Safety had failed to implement reforms in some of the portfolio’s most crucial areas.
Ms Stuckey said one of the report’s concerns highlighted that indigenous communities in some parts of Queensland did not have the capacity to operate in a manner that was capable of providing effective services to children at risk.
"In light of the current problems the State has with sexual abuse in indigenous communities, it is paramount the Beattie Government ensures all CMC recommendations are met and proposed initiatives are implemented," Ms Stuckey said.
"Another area of worry is the finding that DoCS regularly provides incorrect details on the location of children.
"The Minister has stated she does not have accurate figures as to the extent of child abuse in Queensland. Without reliable statistics how can we effectively monitor and provide assistance throughout the State let alone in areas where it is most needed?
"Today’s report highlighted that only 209 staff out of 2050 had received cross-cultural training while training of all registered nurses, which is in line with mandatory reporting under the Health Act, still had not been implemented.
"It is common knowledge the Department of Child Safety is having ongoing difficulties recruiting and retaining staff, particularly in remote areas.
"These concerns are only the tip of the iceberg and I do not agree that Child Safety Minister Desley Boyle and her government have succeeded in fully implementing all of these recommendations despite boasting this had been achieved.
"Whilst there has been a significant increase in funding, without a comprehensive understanding of the scale of the crisis, it goes little way to addressing the source of the problems.
"There is still a lot of work to do on the ground before everyone can start patting themselves on the back. Partial implementation of the recommendations still leaves children at risk in vulnerable situations.
"What does it take for this Government to give child safety priority?