Child protection industrial action highlights latest crisis

Shadow Minister for Child Protection, the Hon Nick Goiran MLC, has slammed the State Government’s handling of child protection, with revelations that child protection workers have marched to the WA Industrial Relations Commission to have their grievances heard.

The industrial action coincides with a plethora of Parliamentary questions exposing unlawful caseloads for child protection workers in the Department of Communities.

“We have a child protection system in crisis because we have a Minister in denial.

“The Opposition has consistently been asking the Minister about exceptional and unlawful caseloads for child protection workers.

“Unlawful caseloads are the child protection equivalent to ambulance ramping in health.

“Does the Minister accept that her Government has broken the law 85 times this year alone by allowing caseloads to exceed the exceptional limit of 18, leaving case workers feeling like they have no other option but to march to the Industrial Relations Commission?

“The Government has been repeatedly caught out hiding information about these excessive caseloads from Parliament.

“We know precisely what happens when we have overworked caseworkers: children either literally go missing or are left in unsafe environments.

“This is why the Opposition has steadfastly called for a stand-alone Department of Child Protection to unwind this crisis caused by the McGowan Government’s ill-conceived decision to bury child protection into the mega Department of Communities,” said Mr Goiran.