Child Safety members met earlier last week to find away to address the health and safety issues that occur daily while supporting vulnerable kids, families and carers.
We talked about the push and pull of cases being allocated or reallocated and about cases being allocated to people who aren’t Child Safety Officers, which puts everyone under pressure.
We talked about the ballooning cases in advice and referral, the pressure homecare workers are under to provide support to carers, the constant churn of workers and about why technical issues are still being used as a recruitment barrier.
Most importantly, we talked about workplace health and safety.
If the agency can’t address the chronic workload issues, the least they can do is ensure the dedicated workers who show up every day have the risks they face assessed and managed on an enduring basis.
Members at the meeting passed a resolution to no longer tolerate current circumstances, and resolved to record all overtime, missed lunch breaks or other additional work, either by email or by claiming the time.
We also resolved to tell the community the real story about what’s happening, including the numbers of cases and families being allocated to people who aren’t employed as Child Safety Officers and the numbers that are flooding in the front door with seemingly nowhere to go.
We urge you to give a completed risk assessment about your workload and circumstances to us or a HACSU delegate at work, as this is for every worker in the service, not just CSOs – and consider providing it to your supervisor too if you feel you can.