LETTER: Frontline care for kids being cut

Sir – Critical service delivery for frontline care and protection of Territory children is being cut by the CLP Government.

Staff of Department of  Families and Children (DFC) in Alice Springs are confused and distraught over the ending of programs for Aboriginal children and families.

Programs such as the Family Group Conferencing and Kinship Care Units in Alice  Springs have been told the programs were no longer a priority for the CLP Government.

Distraught staff have had to hand over their case notes and advise families that they would  no longer be working with them. To make matters worse, they are unable to give families  any certainty as to what will happen in the future.

Kay Densley said she had contacted the DFC Chief Executive who they are now looking to  embed this work in child protection worker tasks. The  Minister Robyn Lambley has not  replied to an email or phone calls.

Since the CLP have won Government, public sector staffing in  Alice Springs has been  dropping drastically. Temporary contracts are not being renewed and dedicated, trained  staff have left in disgust. The DFC Chief Executive said the Department is committed to  effective engagement with Aboriginal families to promote the safety and wellbeing of  children. How can that occur with declining staffing levels and uncertainty in the remaining  workforce and the community?’

Chief Minister Terry Mills said his CLP Government would have “failed” if it did not fix the problems that have plagued Aboriginal society for decades. “If you can’t address these fundamental problems, then you shouldn’t be in the game,” he said.

Turning a blind eye to the impact of ‘recruitment freeze’ decisions,  ceasing highly regarded programs and losing quality employees impact on Aboriginal families and children and is setting everyone up to fail.

Kay Densley

NT Regional Director

Community and Public Sector Union

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