Fewer than one third of children at risk of severe harm in NSW were seen by a case worker, new figures have shown.  The statistics for the December 2019 quarter also reveal that in the month of September, 37.5 per cent of children at risk of severe harm re-reported abuse within 12 months of having their case closed.  The NSW government has set a target to reduce this figure by 5.2 percentage points by June 2021.  But the NSW premier said some of the quarterly figures released by the Department of Justice and Communities had increased because more children were investigated in the past year.

“Whilst the percentage of children who need that support and care keeps going up, the number of children we’re also checking up on has increased in the last 12 months,” Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.  “I’m not suggesting that’s enough, but it is an increase on the previous few.  “So actually more children are ensured of being safe in their environments but unfortunately the number of reports have gone up as well.”  Ms Berejiklian said for the first time in the past two decades, the trend of the number of children in out-of-home care was declining.  “We have the highest rates or what we call permanency and adoption now in NSW, the other states are actually looking at us,” she said.

Source: Australian Associated Press

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