When questioned yesterday what the average response time for Families SA to investigate a Tier 2 case, Minister Rankine responded:
“I am happy to take that question on notice, but can I make the point that not all tier twos are investigated.” (Hansard 23 September 2014)
This is in direct contradiction to the definition of Tier 2 Reports on the Legal Services Commission of South Australia website:
Where the child or young person is assessed as being at risk of harm and an investigation is required. A strategy discussion can be held and parents or guardians need to be notified so that the investigation process can begin. If required, Families SA can take steps to remove children where the risk of harm is serious or immediate.
“Either Minister Rankine doesn’t understand the definition of a Tier 2 Report or the Minister’s Department is not following proper processes and protocols,” said Shadow Minister for Families and Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.
“Either way the Minister is failing in her duty to provide the leadership Families SA needs to ensure the best level of protection of vulnerable children in South Australia.
“For the sake of children at risk in South Australia, it is critical that the system operates as it is designed to do.
“Earlier this year it was revealed the Minister failed to follow recommendations of the Debelle Inquiry in her handling of the shocking case of alleged child sex abuse by a Families SA employee.
“A lack of ministerial leadership is a critical element in Families SA repeated failures of policy and process.”