Families SA must be fully staffed

The State Liberals are demanding Premier Jay Weatherill ensures Families SA is fully staffed as soon as possible.

“We are aware that Families SA has been regularly 200 staff below its 1900 staffing cap,” said Shadow Minister for Families and Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the crisis in child protection in South Australia has been exacerbated by staff shortages.

“It is totally unacceptable that vulnerable children are put at risk because Families SA lacks sufficient staff to investigate credible reports of abuse and neglect.

“I’m told by Families SA employees that 40 per cent of tier two reports of abuse are regularly not investigated at all.

“Indeed former Minister for Education and Child Development Jennifer Rankine confirmed in Parliament that not all tier twos are investigated.

“Tier two reports are the second most serious category and require a response in 2 to 7 days.

“It is simply unacceptable that these reports are not investigated.

“I’m also aware that at one point in time recently the 15 staff at the Elizabeth office of Families SA had 250 cases open and that doesn’t include the daily tier one and tier two reports that need to be investigated.

“We know people are being left on hold for hours when trying to report abuse to the CARL line with many hanging up in frustration.

“We also know that the eCARL has a 6 weeks backlog.

“Having committed to removing Families SA from the Education Department Jay Weatherill needs to take the next step in the reform process and ensure the child protection agency is properly staffed.”