Child death report demonstrates systemic issues in care and protection services

The ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee 2013-14 Annual Report released yesterday highlights ongoing and systemic issues within the ACT’s care and protection services, Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Nicole Lawder said today.

“This report is particularly disturbing because it shows the ACT is not improving in preventing the deaths of children, particularly those known to authorities. That is something that can’t be glossed over,” Ms Lawder said.

“38 of the 109 deaths between 2009 and 2014 were of children and young people either in the care of or known to Community Services.

“I acknowledge the hard work of the managers in Community Services, but the high proportion of deaths of children and young people either in the care of or known to the directorate is a major concern.

“It suggests there may be systemic issues and perhaps an overly bureaucratic process that is getting in the way of strategies to help children get the best chance in life.

“As a relatively new Minister, Mick Gentleman needs to demonstrate that he can do a better job than his predecessor Joy Burch who left with an appalling record,” Ms Lawder concluded.