More than half ignored child protection notifications involved allegations of family violence

September 24, 2015

ABC News

The details behind the 151 missed child protection notifications in Tasmania’s north-west have been revealed, with more than half shown to be allegations of family violence.

The notifications were made to child protection authorities on the state’s north-west coast in late July, but they were not followed up until last month.

For the first time, the reasons for those original notifications have been revealed, after the ABC lodged a Right to Information request.

Those documents show 87 of the notifications to child protection were about alleged family arguments or violence.

Twenty cases were related to alleged sexual abuse, while 13 neglect cases also made the list. Another 12 notifications were for reasons such as physical abuse, suicide attempts, alcohol and drugs, emotional abuse and mental health issues.

Labor health spokeswoman Rebecca White said the statistics were alarming.

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Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said cases such as sexual abuse may not be a child protection matter, because police may have been investigating instead.

“It could be a case of where the child is living with protective parents in a protective environment which actually means it is a police matter not a child protection matter,” she said.

Last month the State Government released a report which found the notifications were not followed up because administration workers were taking the notifications instead of child protection workers.

Sexual Assault Support Service chief executive Jill Maxwell said the workers were under a lot of pressure. The Government has already vowed to overhaul the state’s entire child protection system.

It said that out of those 151 notifications, all but eight are now closed.

Read the original article here.

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