Spend Less, Get Less: Child Protection in Parlous State

The ACT Labor government is continuing to allow the territory’s child protection services to flounder as the latest Report on Government Services shows less is being spent in the ACT than other jurisdictions and outcomes are worse, Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Nicole Lawder said today.

“It’s a slap in the face to those vulnerable young people who rely on the child protection system that the ACT spends well below national average on the sector on a per capita basis. The ACT only spends $551 compared with the national average of $739,” Ms Lawder said.

“As a result, the ACT’s key performance indicators continue to be an embarrassment on the national stage. The completion rate of possible abuse notifications within 28 days sits at 28 percent in the territory, below the national average of 36 percent. This effectively means children are at risk for longer in Canberra than elsewhere.

“Likewise, the ACT’s rate of substantiating complaints after an investigation is well below NSW and Victoria at just 37 percent.

“This report demonstrates the ACT Labor government’s lack of commitment to child protection services. While the internal efficiency may be improving, there is a clear lack of focus for better outcomes for children. The old saying applies here, ‘you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get’,” Ms Lawder concluded.