Region’s 542 children not seen on time by child safety had suffered significant physical, emotional and sexual abuse

Child Safety has prolonged the trauma of more than 500 children suffering significant physical, emotional, and sexual abuse after they were left in the hands of their abusive parents for longer than necessary.

In the 12 months to March 31 this year, there were a staggering 715 Child Safety investigations in the South West region that did not begin on time and were later finalised with the child being found to have been significantly harmed.

The children behind the 715 delayed investigations had suffered from:

  • sexual abuse – 22 cases
  • physical abuse – 113 cases
  • neglect – 254 cases
  • emotional abuse – 326 cases

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP questioned Minister for Child Safety Craig Crawford about the number of delayed local investigations.

Of the 715 notifications of proven child abuse and neglect where Child Safety investigations did not start on time, Minister Crawford admitted there were 20 cases with a 24-hour response priority, 328 cases needed a response within five days, and 367 required a 10-day response.

Children were found to need protection in 542 of the 715 cases. One child can be the subject of multiple notifications.

Mr Janetzki said he was shocked to see the number of children in our region affected by the government’s mismanagement.

“It is utterly distressing that 542 of our region’s children – who had already suffered significant harm – were left in the wrong hands for longer than necessary,” Mr Janetzki said.

“Child Safety workers have repeatedly told the government their department is insufficiently resourced, and their caseloads are too high,” he said.

“How much longer must Queenslanders wait for the Palaszczuk government to rightfully prioritise the system designed to protect our most vulnerable children.”