Baird slashes millions, and more than 100 jobs, from child protection

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This budget reveals the Baird Government’s apathy towards keeping the state’s most vulnerable children safe - with nearly $5 million and 120 full time positions cut from specialist child protection services, and 36 jobs from social housing and homelessness services.

Key cuts from the Baird budget include:

  • Nearly $3 million(1) and 82 jobs(2) slashed from statutory child protection – while the number of children reported to child protection services is set to rise by a further 4,700(3)
  • Almost $2 million(4) and 11 jobs(5) cut from the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the agency tasked with overseeing Working With Children Checks. The Guardian received over 420,000 applications in 2013-14 and cannot afford to lose almost 10 per cent of its total workforce
  • Nearly 30 jobs(6) cut from Out of Home Care and community support services, just as demand is forecast to increase by an additional 400 children in care(7)

SERVICE

NO. EMPLOYEES CUT

Statutory Child Protection(8)

82

Social Housing Assistance and Tenancy Support(9)

28

Out of Home Care(10)

26

Office of the Children’s Guardian(11)

11

Homelessness Services(12)

8

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Tania Mihailuk

“It is absolutely staggering that as the state is in the midst of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, the Government would see fit to cut jobs from child protection.”

“The Premier is boasting about a budget surplus on the one hand, and on the other deciding to cut jobs from child protection services.”

“Incredibly, these ruthless cuts to child protection come as more children are being reported to child protection services.”

“The Children’s Guardian is already under-resourced and over-subscribed, struggling to cope with more applications. Cutting a significant chunk of funding from the very agency tasked with protecting our kids from society’s most serious offenders says a lot about the Premier’s priorities.”

“We need to be absolutely sure that not one cent is spared in protecting our kids from people clearly unsuitable to work with children.”

“Slashing jobs from out of home care and community support services at a time when more children need support is simply cruel.”

“These devastating funding and job cuts will be a direct hit to the services that protect and support the state’s most vulnerable children – and will have a very real effect on how well we are able to care for our kids that are most in need.”

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1 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-1

2 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-10

3 Ibid

4 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-1

5 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-32

6 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-11

7 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-11

8 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-10

9 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-12

10 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-11

11 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-32

12 Budget Papers 2015-16, Budget Paper No. 3, p3-13