Min­is­ter de­fends child pro­tec­tion work

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The State Govern­ment has de­fended its child pro­tec­tion record in the Pil­bara, where reg­u­lar con­cerns of un­der-re­sourc­ing have been raised in the past year.

Child Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell said the Govern­ment was work­ing to­wards chang­ing its ap­proach to tack­ling child wel­fare is­sues.

“We are very keen to work with fam­i­lies long be­fore we have to re­move chil­dren from care,” she said.

“A lot of peo­ple still think Child Pro­tec­tion want to take chil­dren away — no they don’t, they ac­tu­ally want to re­store the fam­ily, keep the fam­ily strong and keep that child in a safe place.

“If and when fur­ther as­sis­tance is needed there is a group of peo­ple in Perth who can re­spond quickly.”

In Fe­bru­ary, con­cerns were raised about the lack of a res­i­dent child-pro­tec­tion worker in Tom Price be­cause of a staff freeze, while the Depart­ment for Child Pro­tec­tion was man­ag­ing 357 cases in the Pil­bara.

A month later it was re­vealed two New­man chil­dren had run away from res­i­den­tial care four times in a fort­night.

The depart­ment claimed fam­ily mem­bers had en­cour­aged them to ab­scond, a state­ment a fam­ily friend de­nied.

WA Na­tion­als leader Bren­don Grylls said govern­ment agen­cies were work­ing well to­gether to keep chil­dren in the re­gion safe.

“Nor­mally, once it gets to the stage where neigh­bours are ring­ing up and pass­ing on con­cerns, they are a long way gone,” he said.

“Child Pro­tec­tion is only de­fined by the cases which haven’t worked, so, well, I just wanted to take the op­por­tu­nity to talk about how they seem to be work­ing very well.”

Mr Grylls ap­plauded the Roe­bourne po­lice, who have been nom­i­nated for a Po­lice Ex­cel­lence Award for their proac­tive work with chil­dren and the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.