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Coronial investigation into baby boy's death finds Queensland Child Safety Department ignored warnings

Key points: The boy was born at Logan Hospital in June 2015 with methadone and amphetamine in his body The family was known to the Child Safety Department due to the mother's history of drug abuse The baby was found to have died of SIDS, and that it was highly likely mechanical asphyxia had occurred A coronial investigation into the death of an eight-week-old boy has revealed how Queensland's Child Safety Department ignored crucial warning signs from medical experts before the infant died in his mother's lap.  The child — known as T — was born at Logan Hospital, south of Brisbane, in June 2015 with methadone and amphetamine in his body. He was found dead less than two months...

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Children in care looked after in govt offices amid staff shortages: union

UPDATED: Children in state care are being looked after in government offices instead of at purpose-built residential care homes due to ongoing staffing shortages within the Child Protection Department, the public sector union claims.  According to the Public Service Association, one social worker was recently forced to write a court report with a baby on her lap because there was no other qualified carer available to look after the child. The union, which represents Department for Child Protection staff, claims at one of the Department’s northern metropolitan offices, ten social workers worked a combined total of 220 hours overtime over two weeks to take care of children who should have been in residential care. The PSA claims up to 20 children...

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"For six years, I kept silent." Grace Tame has given me the courage to share my own story.

This post deals with sexual abuse and might be triggering for some readers. “Trauma does not discriminate. Nor does it end when the abuse does.” - Grace Tame, Australian Of The Year 2021. It’s the day after Australia Day; the first day back of the school year. I kiss my children goodbye and wave them out the door. Make coffee and sit in the despondency of my exhaustion. I had plans today. So many plans. So many things I was looking forward to achieving on the first day to myself after six exceptionally long weeks of juggling part-time work and full-time parenting. Except, I didn’t sleep last night. Again. I’m not sure I could tell you the last time I slept...

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31 nations have urged Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility. Here's what that means

On January 20, 2021, Australia's human rights record was put under the United Nations' microscope. Our treatment of Indigenous communities, asylum seekers and violence against women topped the list of global concerns during the five-yearly review, where other nations were able to ask questions and make recommendations for improvement. And among the questions asked of us by other nations, were a number about Australia's age of criminal responsibility. Currently, it is 10. In Australia, children as young as 10 can be held criminally responsible for their actions. They can be arrested by police, remanded in custody, convicted by courts and jailed. Thirty-one UN member states have called on Australia to lift the age, an increase in international pressure. Among the...

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Institutions responsible for horrific child abuse given seven years to avoid redress

Slater and Gordon is warning the Federal Government’s seven year extension for institutions to join the National Redress Scheme may put child sex abuse survivors off making a claim to the scheme. The Federal Government recently announced it had given institutions who had failed to join the scheme until January 31 2028 to meet their legal requirements. Slater and Gordon Principal Lawyer Nick Hart said it was disgraceful that the Federal Government had given institutions another seven years to avoid their responsibilities to support survivors of horrific abuse. Mr Hart said the scheme needed to be looking at delivering recognition and treatment for survivors who were waiting in limbo, at the very least, to enable them to be supported. “Giving...

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