Nyland Funded Positions in Child Protection Under Threat?

16 May 2019

The Public Service Association (PSA) is concerned that it appears the $432 million in additional Child Protection funding which followed from the Nyland Royal Commission is coming to an end on 30 June 2019.

Despite the PSA pursuing an answer on the status of the funding, the Government remains silent on how many of the 160.5 Nyland funded positions are affected across the Department for Child Protection (DCP).

The PSA wrote to DCP Chief Executive Cathy Taylor on 25 March 2019 requesting clarification regarding roles currently affected by Nyland Funding.

Cathy Taylor responded to the PSA on 3 May 2019 with very little information other than stating some of the roles will be made ongoing, a number will have contract extensions and others will continue on a temporary basis pending further consideration of organisational requirements.

Many members working in essential roles, including senior positions, have been seeking alternate employment as they have no security of employment. The risk of losing motivated highly skilled workers at a time when the Department is already struggling to attract and recruit workers is scandalous.

DCP has acknowledged on many occasions these roles are essential, particularly with the new legislation in place, yet they have not made these positions ongoing. Some of the affected roles are Social Workers, Access Support Workers, Other Person Guardianship, Carer Assessment and Carer Assessment Review. Some of these tasks take months of work and there is now less time left on members’ contracts than it takes to complete and review an assessment.

Many important questions about the future of Child Protection remain:

  • Where will the funding for these positions come from post 30 June 2019?
  • Has the State Government provided ongoing funding for these positions?
  • Will this result in a loss of FTE across Child Protection in other areas to fund these roles post Nyland funding?
  • Will there be a cut to Child Protection in the upcoming budget even though there is a commitment to not cut front line positions?

It is an unfortunate reality to accept, but child protection is not a temporary issue, it is an ongoing issue, and the funding and employment to tackle this issue should be ongoing as well.

We are demanding answers from the Department and the Minister.