Accountability for Government Child Protection workers who place children at risk of harm
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ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ALL AUSTRALIAN CHILD PROTECTION WORKERS
We have recently seen Mason Jett Lee's case workers (Qld) being stood down and investigated. These people could have saved Mason's life but instead he was butchered and abused by violent offenders. All the red flags were there for the case workers and Child Safety to save Mason's life - as were all the red flags in Jakob Oakey's case. The fact is, had these individual case workers not made the decisions they did in these cases (and so many others), the likelihood of these kids being alive is vastly improved. Funding - although very necessary and we need more in the child protection sector - did not kill, neglect and abuse these kids (or those mentioned below), decisions by Australian Government workers did while knowing full well of the risks to these kids. We MUST have accountability from the top down and the bottom up to save our children from abuse and neglect.
Such individual accountability will ensure decisions are made properly for children as it is foreseen that Government Workers will not sign decisions unless they have undertaken proper investigation, ensure information relied on to make decisions are accurate and factual and that there is not bias or intimidation in there decisions for children's and family's lives.
1. Prosecution for false, fraudulent or deliberate omissions of information given to the Court in testimony/affidavit/documents by Child protection Workers.
2. Prosecution for false, fraudulent or deliberate omissions of crucial information given to experts, family members or any other person the Child Protection Worker deems it necessary to provide information to.
3. Prosecution for Government Child Protection workers who endangers a child knowing that the child may be reasonably considered at risk due to the decision made by the Government Child protection Worker
4. Prosecution for Government Child Protect Workers who make a decision reasonably knowing that a child may/will be at risk and as a subsequent the child is abused/dies as a result of the Child Protection Worker's decisions having known the risks
5. Any person who bullies/ intimidates/ uses their position etc to require a Government or NGO worker to make decisions adverse to the child or to tempt another worker into acting in a way that is not in the best interest of a child to be prosecuted
6. Prosecution and/or disciplinary action to be made for Government Child Protection Workers who consistently and/or deliberately refuse to abide by policy/legislation/natural justice
7. That all decisions made by a Government Child Protection worker be required to meet a minimum standard of documentation that should be set out in pro-forma to be released to all parties involved with the children and/or that the decision affects ie The reasons for decision, the investigation undertaken prior to decision being made, documents/information relied upon, People involved in the decision making, final decision maker signature.
8. Case Managers (Government and NGO) who do not oversee placements of a child under their case management and as a result the child is harmed or dies due to the lack of supervision can be prosecuted.
9. Amber Alerts for Children in Care of State and Territory Governments Australia Wide
10. Immediate Federal oversight for all state and territory Child Protection Government agencies.
11. That all policies and procedures of each and every state and territory be available on line and readily available upon request. These are public record documents and must be available to all every person. NT, ACT, Tas, SA and NSW do not have their policies and procedures available at all.
Every State and Territory needs to have such accountability immediately. These issues MUST be addressed at State and Territory levels as well as a federal level. Our children can no longer afford not to have the individuals who make decisions for our children not be held accountable when so much is at stake.
Child Protection Officers Australia wide are exempt from prosecution for the outcomes of their decisions for our Australian Children. On far too many occasions these decisions are made against the best interest or the child, with absolutely no common sense and unlawfully. These problems are NOT limited to a single state or territory in Australia. There are numerous consequences to such decisions including but not limited to:
* Children removed unnecessarily from their biological parents ie children being "stolen" from families
* Families not being supported so they can be strengthened as a family unit
* Abuse/ Neglect and Death of children in the care of the government or an unsafe parent or carer.
There is a myriad of reasons for officers making such decisions that end in tragedy for our children which include:
* Bullying, pressure and dictatorship from team leaders and up-line
* Bias toward a party involved with the child
* Failure to investigate (in many different situations including but not limited to signing documents/agreements without knowledge, taking a previous case managers notes as fact, failure to abide by Natural Justice, ignoring warning signs, being manipulated)
* Improper record keeping
In order to ensure that all Government officers make sound and considered decisions prior to placing children into situations not of their choosing.there MUST be consequences for individual case workers who place children into unsafe situations or (at the other end of the scale) destroy a family by giving fraudulent information to experts employed to assist the Court or in affidavits, documents and/or testimony to the Youth or Children's Court
So many "Child Protection" Officers make decisions in Australian Government "child protection" offices for children that endanger children rather than save them. These decisions are at times made knowingly and beyond any doubt of the officer/s that they were placing a child/young person in danger or adverse to the child's health and safety such as in the cases of:
Jakob Oakey - ACT: A case worker moved Jakob to Qld by CYPS to a person who was a known criminal and violent offender. It was written in CYPS records that Jakob's abuser would be a "substantial risk" to Jakob. Jakob was subsequently abused with such abuse being substantiated.
Unnamed Bunbary Baby - WA: A case worker knowingly left the baby unsupervised with the15 year old father (also under the care of WA Government) after the baby being deemed unsafe to be left with the teenage father unsupervised. The baby died after WA Government left the baby alone with the teenage father.
Kiesha Abrahams - NSW: DoCS reports stated that she should NOT be returned to her mother yet 2 weeks later returned Kiesha to the mother by a case worker's decision anyway. Kiesha died at her mother's hands a short time later.
Nikki Francis-Coslovich - Vic: A week after the Victorian Child Protection department records state that this 2 year old was "at significant risk while in the full time care of her mother" a case worker closed her case. A month and a half later little Nikki was dead.
Examples of Failure to oversee child protection placements that resulted in harm and/or death of a child:
Felicia Goodson - Qld: Felicia had been sexually abused by a worker in a Youth facility and had begged Child Safety not to return her to the care of the Facility. Felicia was able to substantiate the abuse of the worker after not being believed. Felicia is now dead after committing suicide at the age of 16.
Braxton Slager-Lewin- NSW: Was taken from a loving father who asked for assistance. Braxton was sent to a dangerous foster care home which was worse than a squalor. Beer bottles, rubbish and unhygienic home with an unsecured and infested swimming pool that he drowned in.
Deborah Melville-Lothian - NT: Died in the dirt, delirious and dehydrated, at a foster care home after developing septicemia after an injury. The Foster Carer spent most nights at the Casino despite having 5 foster children in her care.
Maria Liordos - Victoria: Under the "care" of DHS. Repeatedly raped in "resi" care and contracted Hepatitis C after being groomed by an adult prisoner she had been permitted to communicate with in care. Unqualified carers at the "resi" care was also an issue that should have been recognised by the teen's case manager.
Jack Sullivan - ACT: disabled died in respite care. The reason I add this one is that despite knowledge of this being an unsafe facility for children and NSW FaCS refusal to use the facility, ACT CYPS continued to send children to this facility even after Jack died despite numerous warnings - even from their own superiors and lawyers.
Examples of omissions of crucial information/ deliberately fraudulent information given to Courts/ willful ignorance/ record keeping misconduct:
Chloe Valentine - SA: One of Australia's worst case of such practices. The Coroner and the Royal Commission had numerous complaints about the SA Families conduct in their testimony, record keeping and administration.
Jakob Oakey - ACT: completely fraudulent information was given to the Court in relation to Jakob's Medical needs, experiences and Health. Additionally, innumerable omissions were made about the abuse he experienced in the placement chosen for him by CYPS officers and the amount that the mother was doing in attempts to keep Jakob safe.
Why Amber Alerts are crucial for our children under government care:
Tiahliegh Palmer - Qld: Tia was missing for 6 days prior to an amber alert being raising when her biological family made an appeal. She had been dead for the whole period.
William Tyrell - NSW: William Tyrell was only given press coverage as the government could not "gag" the media in a timely manner. To this day William's family and others who have promoted the case of the missing toddler have been the subject of "gag" orders.
Child "S" - Qld: a 10 year old was placed into an inappropriate residential care facility. The child went missing at around 4:30pm but was not reported to the police until 6:15pm. No SES were deployed and no Amber Alert was issued despite the child being of such a young age. The child was hit by a car at 9:10pm and was pronounced dead at the scene.
15 year old - WA: This disabled boy went missing from a residential care facility in an attempt to find his way home after being forcibly removed from his mother. He was seen by at least 2 local who had no idea he was missing as no Amber Alert had been raised for the boy. He was found less that 5km away from the sighting, deceased, having been attacked by a crocodile.
2017 2 children- NSW: 2 children went missing from a hotel room where they were under the supervision of a FaCS worker. Only after 7 days an Amber Alert was issued. The girls were found exhausted and hungry within days of the Amber Alert being issued. The situation could have been much worse.
15 year old 2016 - NSW: A teenage girl was held captive and repeatedly raped in a home on a busy residential street when she went missing under the Government's care. No Amber Alert was issued. The child was missing for around a month being raped.
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