DATE: 28 October 2020
SA Department of Child Protection CEO, Cathy Taylor, MUST be dismissed.
The revelation by the ABC on 26th October 2020 that the CEO of South Australia’s Department of Child Protection (DCP), Cathy Taylor, remained unaware of the sexual assault, pregnancy and termination of that pregnancy of a 14-year-old girl in State care is yet another failure by the Department to care for a South Australian child.
The CEO of the DCP has a legal obligation to ensure that all children are safe from harm. For it to be reported recently that a 14-year-old child was sexually assaulted and fell pregnant and that those responsible for this child chose not to report this to their superiors demonstrates a lack of trust within the Department.
This begs the questions:
- why did the Department fail to keep this young person safe?
- what were the procedures that broke down?
- Are frontline workers fearful of reporting such incidents to their superiors and if so, why?
The Child Protection party often receives notifications that indicate that there are many other children such as this 14-year-old who are at risk of being sexually and physically abused. These children are removed from their biological parents because the department deem them at risk. The assumption is that the State is a better parent than the child’s parent.
It is our view that
- the Department fails to provide appropriate interventions for children and living conditions which cause children to feel safe and secure;
- that the Department appears to believe that the removal of a child is all that is required.
Children may be traumatised by what has occurred in the family home and are often further traumatised when removed from their family and are forced to live with strangers. The failure to address both of these traumas damages children and results in children indulging in risky behaviours. That damage may be lifelong.
During Cathy Taylor’s tenure there has been no discernable change within the child protection system that would make anyone feel confident that children are safer in her care than in the care of their parents.
The Child Protection party believes that the failure by Cathy Taylor to address any of these issues should result in her immediate dismissal.
For further information, contact:
- Avery Hilditch
- Child Protection Party
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ph: 0416 113 513
About the Child Protection party
The Child Protection Party consists of people who are committed to creating safe environments for children to grow so that they can reach their full potential. We are concerned that those responsible for the protection of children often fail in their responsibility.