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Disability, Legal

NDIS families call for the gutting of the Department of Child Protection

Matilda Bawden, Forensic Social Worker of 30 years, specialising in homelessness, child protection disabilities, hoarding and squalor.


Human rights advocates are calling for the Department of Child Protection (DCP) to be gutted after finding an ever-increasing number of families decimated by wrongful & even malicious government interventions, in complete violation of the recommendations of the 2016 Nyland Report.

Forensic Social Worker & NDIS Specialist Support Coordinator, Matilda Bawden, has raised alarm at the removal of children from vulnerable families with little more than a Social Worker’s personal, dubious & highly subjective opinions – without the backing of facts or tangible evidence of risk of harm.

“The problem with Child Protection is that Social Workers will lie as a matter of routine &, when they do, they are unaccountable to anyone, least of all their Supervisors & Managers.  They are unafraid of Ministerials, Freedom of Information requests, formal Complaints or breaches of Privacy concerns. They thumb their noses at complaints from the public or the objections of other professional colleagues when a spotlight is shone upon their malpractices.

Many Social Workers are young or fresh out of university, are not parents themselves, have little field experience & can only paraphrase the text book of “question/response” checklist taught to them by their establishment-oriented career managers when confronted with awkward, sticky or complex cases.   

No matter how many Parliamentary inquiries or Royal Commissions conducted into Child Protection systems in South Australia, the entire system has been totally captured by nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats for more than four decades.  “Codes of Ethics & Conduct for Public Sector employees are unenforceable & mean nothing to child protection workers”, Ms Bawden said.

“Over three decades, I have had elected members of Parliament & Shadow Ministers tell me how much the Social Workers lie, yet the moment they become Minister, they become complicit in the lies. Unfortunately, only one Labor Minister ever really cared to know, & intervene, with families whose lives were devastated by child protection malpractices, but she didn’t last long the moment she began seeking out particular reports kept hidden from her.  Not even the Select Committee Inquiry into Families SA got those reports” Ms Bawden said.  “In the United States, even after decades of cover-up, Social Workers eventually get prosecuted & jailed for this kind of misconduct, but not one in Australia ever faces any consequences”, she said.

“The Lesley Cooper Report of 1989 has been long forgotten, so now we rinse & repeat the mistakes & malpractices of the past.  Whatever you do, just don’t mention a Quality Assurance Unit!  Today’s DCP Feedback and Complaints Unit only protects the Minister from scandals by Dead-End Processing complaints - & they do it with impunity.  There’s a quid pro quo arrangement," Ms Bawden said.  "The Minister remains silent, doesn’t intervene in formal complaints proving departmental misconduct &, in return, the bureaucrats keep media scandals away from her office & she is safe in the knowledge that no journalist will peak under the covers". 

The Nyland Report is a distant memory, long dead, gone & buried, because nowhere did Nyland intend to hang innocent families out to dry or give cover for incompetent, dishonest or corrupt Social Workers to bully, abuse or persecute innocent families with a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to child safety.

Matilda Bawden is available for comment anytime.

Key Facts:

2016 Nyland Report

1989 Lesley Cooper Report

Corrupt & incompetent Social Workers unaccountable

Department thumbs its nose at parents who complain about systemic abuses

Contact details:



Mob: 0412 836 685 / Email:


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