Recent numbers of child protection notifications in Tasmania are unknown due to "changes in intake business rules and practice" within the department.
The latest Communities Tasmania annual report keeps hidden the number of notifications, but states "the proportion of contacts progressed to notifications has decreased".
It shows that the average daily number of children in care has risen from 1293 last financial year to 1325, and that 74 per cent of children are in approved case and care plans, up 10 per cent from the previous year.
The percentage of foster families with five children or more has decreased.
So too has the number of children in out of home care who experienced three or more non-respite placements. The percentage of child protection cases which were investigated within 28 days had also remained stable since last year, at around 7 per cent. In addition to its usual department responsibilities, including children and families, housing and sport and recreation, Communities Tasmania spent more than $13.5 million on corona-virus-related expenses. In addition to its varied responsibilities, it also headed the state's emergency operations relating to COVID-19, including quarantine for people arriving into Tasmania, food parcels for those in isolation, and relief for temporary visa holders.
A total of $10.1 million was spent on COVID hotels up until June, which included almost $1 million on security.
An additional $1.2 million was spent on emergency relief grants for those holding temporary visa holders who found themselves in difficulty, with 3960 grants handed out.
The COVID-19 Sport and Recreation Grants Program also saved 187 Tasmanians from unemployment, with tranche one of the program providing income assistance worth $1.2 million to 20 sport organisations across the state.
Many Communities Tasmania staff were emergency deployed during the COVID-19 peak, with the department having to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable members of the community. The department had an overspend of around $9 million in the 2019-2020 financial year.
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