Women charged after children found living in squalor

·2-min read

More cases of child neglect in South Australia have emerged a week after an extremely rare string of manslaughter charges were laid.

Two women have been bailed to appear in an Adelaide court in June over the alleged criminal neglect of three children.

The children were found in December "living in a state of extreme squalor with no food present at the home", police say.

"The children were in an unkempt and dirty condition," police said on Monday.

After detectives deemed the home to be "uninhabitable" the children aged 14, five and three were removed from the property for their safety.

Two women also living at the home, aged 32 and 59, were arrested on Saturday and charged with three counts of criminal neglect.

Each also faces three charges of failing to provide appropriate food and accommodation.

The charges follow a rare bundle of arrests on April 26 resulting in manslaughter charges over the deaths of three children in separate cases of alleged neglect.

One of the children, Charlie Nowland, was found unresponsive in her family's Munno Para home in July and died in hospital.

Four agencies - child protection, housing, human services and education - all had interactions with the family before her mother was charged last week.

A man faces a manslaughter charge over the February 2022 death of seven-year-old Makai Wanganeen while a 54-year-old woman faces an identical charge over the October 2018 death of Jasmine Wilmott, 15.

SA's child protection agency has faced months of criticism over its handling of numerous cases of abuse and neglect, particularly those involving the death of a seven-year-old boy in February last year and a six-year-old girl in July.

The agency was criticised in 2020 when it was revealed two 13-year-old girls in state care had become pregnant, one to a convicted paedophile.

A new agency head is expected to be announced within a fortnight.