Friday 26 July 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

Child Protection: A Vital Service For NSW

Child Protection: A Vital Service For NSW

The difference our members make is too important to ignore.

The previous issue of Red Tape looked at the crisis taking place in the NSW Child Protection system.

The system is suffering from a maelstrom of problems. There are underpaid, overworked staff. Wages for Child Protection Workers in the Public Sector no longer match those offered by private bodies, so there is a constant drain of experienced staff. Too often, the resulting vacancies are not filled.

This means the Child Protection Workers who remain are at risk of serious burnout as understaffing means our members are forced to do more with less.

To make things worse, they are working in a system that suffers from the worst symptoms of outsourcing.

Soon after our story hit members’ mailboxes, it was revealed a religious organisation involved in the Out of Home Care system had refused to allow a child in its care to live with an aunt willing to foster the child. This was due to the fact the aunt was in a same-sex relationship. This proves the protection of vulnerable children should not be left to non- government organisations and is better served as a function of the state.

The situation is repeated throughout the state. Underfunded services staffed by people whose wages have gone backwards in recent years under a salary cap that failed to keep up with inflation.

Our fight on behalf of Child Protection Workers did not stop once the Red Tape story was written. We remain in contact with the Minister for Community Services, Kate Washington, to remedy this situation.

We have written to her pushing for higher pay grades for our members to make working for the Department a more attractive option.

Child Protection Workers like those in the photo below are just some of the people making life in NSW better for those who need help. Whether it is our members in the Department of Housing combatting homelessness, support staff in schools helping kids who can’t keep up or our members in Community Services saving children in peril, they are here to help and they have a union backing them.

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