By ANNE HOLLONDS
I was horrified to read about the death from starvation of 17 month old twins in suburban Sunnybank Hills, south of Brisbane. For all of us this story is incomprehensible and terrifying.
What really struck me was that no one around the family who felt concerned was able to help.
The sad truth is that for every tragic child death, there are many thousands of children living in desperate circumstances with families failing to cope.
Nationally a quarter of a million children were reported at risk of harm in 2011-12, andIn NSW last year over 64,000 children were reported as being at serious risk of harm. Child welfare authorities are struggling with the increasing numbers of notifications and in NSW we know that less than a third of these cases were investigated. There is heated political debate about numbers of child protection workers, however the question no-one is addressing is “Why are there 64,000 children reported as unsafe in their own homes in NSW alone?”
We have created a system which relies on sending more and more ambulances to the bottom of the cliff, instead of building a fence at the top of the cliff to keep kids safe. The truth is that there will never be ”enough” child protection workers if we expect them to do all the heavy lifting and we wait until the damage is done before anyone acts.