media release

Alarm bells ringing again in child protection

“The fact that 26,700 callers failed to get through on the Child Abuse Report Line in one year and those who did are waiting longer than ever is symptomatic of a system at breaking point,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“The Weatherill Government’s failure to adequately fund the Child Abuse Report Line is putting vulnerable children at increased risk of abuse and neglect.

“Given the huge numbers of people hanging up in despair before reporting their concerns the installation of a call back system on the CARL line needs to be an absolute priority.

“An effective child protection system begins with an efficient reporting mechanism.

“Greater public understanding of what should be reported to child protection authorities is also needed.

“I’m also shocked that just months after the Coroner laid bare the neglect and abuse Chloe Valentine suffered at the hands of her mother, Families SA doesn’t pay greater attention to reports coming from family members.

“Last weekend a grandmother spent more than two hours on hold trying to make a report to the Child Abuse Report Line about her concerns for her granddaughter who is being cared for by her ice addicted father.

“I cannot understand why a grandmother’s report that a two year old child living with her ice addicted father, who has been beaten up by a drug dealer in his damaged home doesn’t result in an investigation.

“Have we learnt nothing from the tragedy that engulfed Chloe Valentine?”