Today child safety workers across Tasmania will be striking to force the Rockliff Government to address their chronic recruitment and retention issues that are leaving at-risk children unsupported and vulnerable.
On 7 September, union delegates met with the Premier to discuss an Emergency Workforce Package that would begin to address their staffing crisis. The Premier promised them he would respond to the package. In the 28 days since, there has been one meeting and nothing has been implemented. Over the same time, four more exhausted child safety workers have resigned as the service staggers closer to a tragedy.
Quotes attributable to HACSU Assistant State Secretary Lucas Digney.
“Critical services are currently in crisis and these vital workers are struggling with crippling demand. It’s gotten worse, not better, and nothing has been provided by government or departmental representatives as to how the immediate service delivery crisis will be addressed.”
“Child Safety and the Advice and Referral Line are critically under-resourced and children reported at risk of neglect or abuse are not getting the support they need and deserve. We have hundreds of kids in care who do not have an allocated worker. It’s simply not good enough.”
Quotes attributable to CPSU Lead Organiser Natalie Jones.
“At the very time Tasmanians are hearing from the Commission of Inquiry about how we have failed vulnerable children in the past, it is happening again.”
“Our members refuse to stand by knowing that children reported at risk of abuse or neglect are not getting the care and support they need because the Rockliff Government won’t address their recruitment and retention crisis.”
The service continues to decline with more staff leaving. Every day without action is another day closer to a collapse of the service altogether.
Child safety workers across the state will walk off the job at 12 noon today. They don’t do this out of self-interest. They do it because they are being forced to make decisions each day about which child in need gets help and which one doesn’t. That’s an unreasonable position to put these caring workers in.
Lucas Digney and child safety workers will be available for comment at 12.20pm today at Civic Square Launceston.
For comment or further information contact Lucas Digney on 0418 747 705.