Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Child Safety Net Strong; Shadow Minister Praises Our Local Services

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Child Safety Net Strong; Shadow Minister Praises Our Local Services

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Thorpe andrew.thorpe@gladstoneobserver.com.au

SHADOW Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates has praised Gladstone's child protection services while in town on Friday.

Ms Bates said while the system was struggling across most of the state, Gladstone's office was fully staffed and each child safety officer was dealing with a relatively low caseload.

"The Gladstone centre has a really great relationship with the local police and the child protection unit - they work very closely together," she said.

Ms Bates said staff at the centre were preparing for an expected uptick in the amount of cases reported to authorities following the end of the resources boom.

"We've seen the downturn in the economy and the increase in unemployment in the region (and) also the influx of a different element from areas such as Logan and Ipswich moving to Gladstone because of the cheaper rents," she said.

"They saw a peak in the number of children coming to the attention of child safety around September but since then they've increased their staff complement to deal with it and now they will be watching it very closely as more people move to the region," she said. …

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