Families and Communities Minister Kate Washington’s promise to address the appalling outcomes for NSW’s most vulnerable children caused by the previous coalition government’s privatisation of the state’s out-of-home-care system is to be applauded, says the union representing child protection workers.
The Liberal National government’s emphasis on for-profit providers has left over 100 children living for months in motels supervised by untrained staff while the foster system has been left to wither and die.
This system has cost NSW taxpayers over half-a-billion dollars in just the last two years.
In the Minister's words for-profit providers are now ‘‘exploiting a broken system’’.
The union representing child protection workers consistently brought these problems to the attention of the previous Coalition Government but to no avail says Troy Wright, the Assistant General Secretary of the The Public Service Association.
“After 12 years of LNP neglect and ideologically driven outsourcing to for-profit providers the state’s child protection system is in crisis," says Troy Wright, the Assistant General Secretary of the The Public Service Association.
“Our members have borne the brunt of the previous government’s heartless regime in child protection, we can see what with the unprecedented burnout, and turnover rates in the sector.
“And what we know now is that these for-profit companies have actually cost the taxpayer more.
“We know of cases where individually children have cost the taxpayer $1.7 a year to accommodate, one child cost the state $3.3 million under the for-profit model of care.
“We are seeing terrible outcomes for the state’s most vulnerable kids, a sector so run down and demoralised no-one wants to work in it, and an extraordinary cost to taxpayers,” says Troy Wright, the Assistant General Secretary of the The Public Service Association.
Contact: Troy Wright 0405 285 547