Child protection dispute

Last month at least four child protection workers in the Mirrabooka office were identified by CPSU/CSA as working more than the 15-case maximum at once, to cover the 435 cases currently recorded in the area.

CPSU/CSA branch assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said child protection workers were burning out.

‘Our members are constantly telling us they are not able to do the job to the best of their ability because of the high number of cases they have,’ Ms Hendon said.

CPSU/CSA organised an online survey last month as part of its Workload Action Week campaign for Mirrabooka staff.

‘The information we will be receiving from child protection staff from across the metropolitan area and regional centres will be confidential and give us a broad idea of workloads,’ she said.

‘Our message is pretty simple ” safe workloads means safe children ” and we will be using the data to work with the department to produce a positive and long-lasting solution.’

Department for Child Protection (DCP) director-general Terry Murphy said the department viewed the actions of the CPSU as ‘divisive, unhelpful and out of touch with the vast majority of department staff’.

Mr Murphy disputed the CSPU/CSA findings.

‘The current average caseload, across both the metropolitan and country districts, is 11.97 per case worker; this is entirely in line with the industrial order agreed to by the CPSU and the department, which sets a caseload limit of 15 and 18 in exceptional circumstances,’ Mr Murphy said.