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Déjà vu on child abuse

The State Liberals are deeply concerned that yet another case of suspected child abuse and neglect has been exposed in public housing in Adelaide’s north.

“Reports of five children living in squalid conditions in a Housing Trust property in Hillcrest raise a series of questions that the Minister for Education Susan Close needs to answer,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“Too often we see new cases of abuse and neglect of small children where obvious warning signs were ignored by the authorities and children were left at risk for far too long.

“A quick look at the condition of the yard of the Hillcrest property should have alerted authorities to the potential threat to children living at the Hillcrest address.

“Minister Close needs to detail how many reports about this family were made to the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) before the children were removed from the property.

“Was the condition of the house reported to the Housing Trust by Housing Trust employees?

“Were the children under school age sited by Housing Trust employees as per the Weatherill Government’s policy?

“The news of the latest suspected case of abuse comes as the Weatherill Government has been forced to cover the cost of a $160 million budget blowout in child protection in South Australia.

“The Weatherill Government’s failure to adopt successful early intervention strategies has seen the number of vulnerable children taken into commercial care skyrocket.

“Commercial care is both the worst form of care for vulnerable children and the most expensive for the taxpayer.

“The Weatherill Government has never given foster carers and kinship carers the respect and support they deserve.

“Until Labor gets its early intervention policies right more and more children will be trapped in commercial care arrangements.”