Child Death Review Committee Report tabled in Parliament
26 children died in Victoria last year the latest Victorian Child Death Review Committee reports. The report paints a grim assessment of an overworked, understaffed government department that is failing to properly assess the risks some children face while at home.
Fifteen of the children were in the care of their families when they died, while one was in out-of-home care.
The report, tabled in state parliament yesterday, found there were problems with ``assessment'' of risks done by the caseworkers at the Department of Human Services.
``Many child-death inquiries identify that insufficient information is collected on which to reasonably base an assessment,'' the committee said.
``There is not enough direct contact by Child Protection with families.
Significantly, there is often even less contact with the child or children who are the subjects of the reported concerns.''
The committee also noted the department had an inexperienced workforce that was pushed to the limit.
CPSU maintains the long term solution is premised on a system of work controlled in the interests of all by a caseload ceiling.
What is lacking is clear action on caseloads, staff numbers and pay and conditions to address retention/recruitment difficulties and solve the chronic workload stresses.
CPSU Assistant State Secretary