Vulnerable Queensland children are being placed at greater risk by the Palaszczuk Labor Government following revelations ballooning caseloads of Child Safety Officers are reaching alarming new heights.
Remarkably, the Labor Government has been exposed as leaving 207 vacant Child Safety Officer positions on their watch, raising serious questions about case management.
There are 1315 funded full time equivalent staff across Queensland, but only 1108 are employed, leaving a shortfall of 207 Child Safety Officers.
The Government reports the average caseload per Child Safety Officer is now 15.8 cases, based on funded positions.
With a shortage of 207 positions, according to the Government’s own case load numbers, the cases of up to 3278 children are being “managed” by vacant positions.
The State Government statistics show the Far North Queensland region has the highest vacancy rate of Child Safety Officers at 28.3%, followed by the Southwest region and North Queensland region.
Shadow Minister for Child Protection Amanda Camm said the chaos and crisis within the Palaszczuk Labor Government is why Child Safety Officers are walking away in droves.
“Child Safety Officers are over-worked and under-resourced, struggling with overwhelming case loads and little support under this Government,” Ms Camm said.
“Keeping children safe must be the top priority.
“An empty position can’t make a home visit.
“An empty position can’t listen to a child or report any alleged harm.
“It’s not good enough that vulnerable children’s cases are sitting on desks for months on end while this Government is engulfed in chaos and crisis.
“These empty chairs mean more kids are likely to be put in harm’s way because the Palaszczuk Labor Government can’t keep Child Safety Officers to keep our kids safe.
“The LNP Opposition has been inundated by whistleblowers about the treatment of staff, intimidation and the poor culture within the department.
“This is the result of the chaos and crisis that has engulfed the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“While Labor MPs are fighting among themselves, we’re fighting for vulnerable kids.
“After eight years in office, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has stopped listening to Queenslanders.
“Vulnerable Queensland children are paying a high price for the Government’s failures and the Palaszczuk Government needs to outline how it will fix the Child Safety Crisis it created.
“I urge the Premier and her Ministers to put forward solutions to address the shocking staff shortfall.”
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