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Ombudsman says children beaten, raped in foster care

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Updated May 27, 2010 07:46:00

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VIDEO: Report highlights abuse of children in care(7pm TV News VIC)

MAP: Melbourne 3000

The Victorian ombudsman says inaction by the Department of Human Services may have contributed to the abuse of children in foster care.

In a report tabled in State Parliament today, the ombudsman has identified numerous cases of children being abused while in state care.

These include children being beaten, raped and becoming involved in prostitution.

The ombudsman has also critised screening practices for prospective carers.

But the Community Services Minister Lisa Neville says the checks are adequate.

“There are very rigorous processes around screening of carers, so that is both for foster carers and also for kinship carers,” she said.

“They are required to undertake police checks, they are required to pass a working with children check.”

Ms Neville says acknowledges some carers have betrayed these children.

“I think that the department, we will implement these recommendations because we want to continue to improve the policies and the procedures we have in place, to minimise the risk to children,” she said.

Ms Neville says the Government says has already begun to address the problem by establishing an an independent oversight committee, to ensure proper procedures are followed.

“[There are] a whole range of quality oversight mechanisms, that will then be reported into Parliament,” she said.

Opposition leader Ted Baillieu says Premier John Brumby must now sack Ms Neville for failing to fix the child protection system

“This is now John Brumby’s problem. This report makes it clear that Lisa Neville has had precious little impact on the system, on the portfolio,” he said.

“She should have gone a long time ago.”

Bernie Geary, the Child Safety Commissioner, says the report highlights the failure of successive governments to adequately fund foster care in Victoria.

“I never believe that young people in these situations receive adequate resources,” he said.

“I do believe that one of our problems is that we have failed to look at young people in out of home care in a cross-government way.”

Topics: child-abusechildrenstate-parliamentmelbourne-3000

First posted May 26, 2010 11:21:00

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Written by dawneworswick

November 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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