Who's looking after the children?
It’s been my mantra for decades but, sadly, never more applicable than today: Who’s looking after the children? It has been revealed that 65 Victorian children, who were known to child protection authorities, died in one year. More than one a week. And that is just horrendous.
According to Coroners Court figures, released to the Weekend Australian, 26 of those cases were supposedly ‘active’. The newspaper also gained access to a confidential report (not for public distribution) from the Commissioner for Children and Young People showing child protection agencies were ‘overwhelmed’. The report criticised child protection for being too slow in dealing with six babies, who were all aged under two, when they died.
I’ll give you a case involving ‘Baby M’. This little boy’s plight was investigated five times but Baby M was left in the care of his ice-using grandfather. Baby M died. He was 15 months old.
The report said:
'Child Protection’s assessment and intervention was often delayed, in some cases for months, leaving young children in vulnerable situations.'
This is disgraceful in 2021. If more cases workers are needed then hire them. I ask again: Who’s looking after the children? In one year, in one state, we had 65 tragic answers: Nobody.