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Government NSW, Youth

Kids help hotline workers stop work

PSA 2 mins read

Child protection workers who answer calls on the after hours hotline where the public report at-risk kids will stop work this evening for two hours over chronic overwork, arbitrary staff suspensions and unreasonable workplace directives.


The action comes after two senior managers were stood down earlier this month from the After Hours Response Team (AHRT) and call centre workers had work from home arrangements revoked.


Staff also report working in excess of 18 hours at a time to keep the hotline open.


AHRT workers will attend a snap two-hour stop-work meeting between 4.30pm and 6.30pm today, Monday the 18th of March.


Public Service Association Acting General Secretary Troy Wright said the chronic overwork, staff suspensions and unreasonable workplace directives need to be addressed.


“This is another symptom of a child protection system in crisis,” said Mr Wright.


“We’ve been telling anybody who’ll listen the child protection system is about to collapse but no-one is listening, least of all management at the Department of Communities and Justice.


“The After Hours Response Team take calls from members of the public who are worried about the welfare of our most precious resource, our children.


“Before the wheels fell off the After Hours Response Team earlier this month the response time to a call about a child in trouble was under 30 minutes, it’s now taking hours.


“Some staff report working in excess of 18 hours at a time to keep the hotline open.


“Already chronically overloaded case workers at the district level are now picking up the slack of the After Hours Response Team which has them being woken up at all hours to rescue kids in need, that’s on top of their day job,” said Mr Wright.


Contact: Troy Wright 0405 285 547

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