Emergency care in SA must be reformed immediately

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Labor Government to immediately begin reforming South Australia’s emergency care system.

“It is appalling that 165 children were in emergency care for three or more consecutive months in 2014/15,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“On those figures it is reasonable to conclude some children are kept in emergency accommodation for more than a year.

“That is an utterly disgraceful period of time for a vulnerable child to be held in the most expensive and least desirable form of accommodation.”

In 2010 then Minister for Child Protection Jennifer Rankine told State Parliament:

“I am very pleased that, within the next six months, I am very hopeful we will not have any children in long term emergency accommodation.” (Hansard 25/11/10)

“Jennifer Rankine’s statement highlights how hopeless the State Labor Government has been in child protection,” said Ms Sanderson.

Justice Nyland’s Royal Commission Report states that:

“Children in commercial emergency placements can face unplanned and disruptive changes of residence in short-term rental accommodation. During busy periods, such as the Clipsal car race, the Fringe Festival and Christmas holidays, children are sometimes moved out to make way for other tenants.” (pg 314).

“It is appalling that vulnerable children are being kicked out of accommodation for the Clipsal and other Adelaide events,” said Ms Sanderson. “The Weatherill Government must begin building other care options immediately and must ensure that no child is shuffled from existing emergency accommodation for Christmas, the Fringe or Clipsal.”

“Action is long overdue – we cannot afford any further delays.”