National figures show SA failing children at risk

In another disturbing revelation regarding child protection in South Australia the State Liberals have released Federal Government data showing that South Australia is significantly less likely to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect of children than anywhere else in Australia.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data for 2012/13 shows that for every 1000 children in Australia 17.6 are the subject of an investigation of a notification, whereas in South Australia that figure was just 10.3.

“The rolling crisis in child protection in South Australia is reflected in these disturbing figures,” said Shadow Minister for Education David Pisoni.

“Minister Rankine needs to explain why South Australia lags so far behind the rest of the country – why New South Wales (19.8) is almost twice as likely to investigate a notification of child abuse or neglect than South Australia (10.3).

“Recent reports of Families SA failing to follow through on a range of different reports of suspected child abuse reinforce these disturbing figures.

“Children need a vigilant government to protect them against the depredations of a small but cunning group of abusers.

“The first component in a well-run child protection system is a thorough, professional and properly resourced investigative capacity.

“It’s time the Premier swallowed his pride and appointed a Minister for Child Protection to head up an independent Agency dedicated to the provision of child protection services.

“These figures also highlight the need for a Commissioner of Children and Young People to assess the effectiveness of State Government child protection policies.

“A Commissioner would want to know why South Australia conducts so few investigations of notifications and what this means for child at risk of abuse and neglect,” Mr Pisoni said.