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Government NSW, Youth


Public Service Association 2 mins read

What: Child protection workers hold press conference


When: 11.30 for 12 NOON (Thursday 11 April)


Where: The ‘tree of truth’ behind NSW Parliament House


Why: Child protection workers today begin a month of industrial action over fears vulnerable kids are at risk


Contact: Stewart Little 0405 285 547


Press Release:


Child protection workers begin industrial action over system in crisis


Child protection workers today begin a month of industrial action over concerns the state’s most vulnerable kids are at risk due to understaffing and staff burnout.


The Public Service Association (PSA), which represents the workers, says action will commence with a series of rolling stop-work meetings across the state and escalate as necessary.


The action comes after alarming new statistics showed three in four children reported as at risk of harm from October 1, 2022 until September 30 last year received no visit from Department of Communities and Justice caseworkers.


More disturbingly, a recent report found low staffing numbers are believed to be among the reasons for some of the deaths of children in child protection in 2022.


The sector is experiencing an unprecedented attraction and retention crisis with one in four positions unfilled in some regions of the state.


The Department’s own figures show the vacancy rate for caseworkers has increased by 250 per cent in the year, and year on year, with the state losing more caseworkers that it is employing.


The caseworkers that are left are relatively inexperienced and coping with the extra workload of colleagues who have left.


One in four child protection staff are in their first two years of employment with the department.


Premier Chris Minns needs to intervene, said PSA General Secretary Stewart Little.


“The most vulnerable kids in this state are at risk of serious harm, or worse, because child protection workers just can’t cope, they’re understaffed, exhausted and see no other option than to take industrial action,” said Mr Little.


“Premier Minns needs to immediately recruit another 500 child protection workers to address the attraction and retention crisis in child protection, otherwise the system will collapse. I can't put it any more plainly than that.


“The Minns Government didn’t create this mess but it’s now their responsibility to fix it. To not act now would be a massive moral failure. 


“People in child protection don’t take action lightly, they know how important every single minute of their work is. 


“But they just can’t go as the system crumbles around their ears,” said Mr Little.


Child Protection workers will hold a press conference behind NSW Parliament House at the ‘tree of truth’ Thursday the 11th of April at 11.30am (for 12 noon)


Contact: Stewart Little 0405 285 547

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