Child protection - (8.11.2016)

Written on the 9 November 2016

8 November 2016


Members statements 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)


The latest figures on child protection released five days late, I might add show an increase in child deaths, assaults and behavioural issues. I note that at the end of June there was an alarming 20.7 per cent of children within child protection noted as unallocated clients that is, one in five children who do not have a caseworker. In the latest figures on child protection, released on Friday, there were 17 child deaths, an increase of 70 per cent on the last quarter. Assaults are up by 6.3 per cent and behavioural issues up 10.84 per cent, figures that are both shocking and concerning.

The youth justice figures are indeed very interesting. Assaults are reported as 12, down 40 per cent. Behavioural issues remain steady at 2 only, and other incidents are only 3, down by 50 per cent. Former police commissioner Neil Comrie is investigating the riots that occurred in September in the youth justice system, at which time workers were saying that working in the youth justice system was more dangerous than working in an adult prison. Riots and severe damage were occurring almost on a weekly basis riots involving more than one individual.

So you would think that actions that require reporting, including repeated reports of female workers being threatened with rape, would be reflected in these figures. These are just some of the reports that we know about, and yet the minister who continues to trumpet that they are a government of transparency agrees that assaults are only 12 for the quarter, down 40 per cent, and other incidents only 3, down 50 per cent. This simply does not stack up, and the minister knows it. What is she hiding?

It is pretty clear that the youth justice system is in chaos. More recently there have been repeated reports of violence, rioting and more assaults. There has been total mayhem for the two years the minister has been in control. She is totally out of her depth in dealing with the very serious issues at hand. Victorians deserve better than having someone as incapable as this minister in charge of such serious issues.

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