Failures plague Victorian child protection

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Victoria's child protection system is failing to keep proper records on some vulnerable children and workers are over-stretched and under resourced.

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing does not meet minimum standards for data collection on children in its care, according to a report by the Victorian Auditor-General's Office tabled in parliament this week.

It found more than 900 children were entered into the department's system with an incomplete or incorrect address.

There were "gaps" in information such as date of birth, immunisation records and NDIS plans for some children.

"This puts children at risk of not receiving the medical care or intervention they need," the report said.

It said record discrepancies may mean the department pays carers who are not looking after children.

Another report by the Auditor-General's office found the child protection workforce was "under-resourced, under-supervised and under pressure" which exacerbated mental health issues.

There are not enough workers to meet demand after the number of child protection practitioner positions more than doubled in the past year.

One in two workers received the required level of supervision, which added to workplace pressures.

It said the department had introduced more tailored mental health support but needed to do more to educate the workforce on available help and improve workers' experience in court.

As of May 2022, more than 3100 vulnerable children were still waiting to be allocated to a CPP.

Department secretary Brigid Sunderland accepted recommendations on data collection and said steps were being taken to address issues raised.