Abuse report line 'failing children each day'

Gerda Juzuchowski, 7News Adelaide
Abuse report line 'failing children each day'

Welfare workers have told 7News an overloaded and underfunded system is failing abused and vulnerable children each day.

They have come forward after recent 7News reports about a Government report line that keeps caller son hold for hours.

Welfare worker Deanna Rohrschiem reports cases of abuse and neglect every week.

“We see disengagement from school, and low-level literacy and kids with no friends, no peers and no social circles – which is deeply sad and has a long life impact,” she said.

Earlier this month, 7News revealed it can take more than two hours for a call to be answered on the Government’s child abuse report line.

7News has been told one of the state’s biggest welfare providers makes about 300 report line calls per week – but one support worker says virtually none result in immediate action.

“That is clearly where we’re needing to see improvement in resourcing,” said Mark Henley from Uniting Communities.

And workers say there is a dire lack of agency cooperation.

“Well the sad reality is that sometimes there are 10 to 12 services walking into a child’s home and yet they’re still continuing to live in that situation,” Ms Rohrschiem said.

Welfare worker Enaam Oudih told 7News: “We’re not going to get more money – that’s the reality – what do we do? Just keep kids being disadvantaged and abused? We just have to get together.”
The Government has said the report line is receiving four additional staff from next week.