A leaked email to the Tasmanian Greens has revealed Child Safety Services staff have been asked to watch expenditure in their region, particularly for therapy services.
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor obtained an email sent to some Child Safety Service staff which stated expenditure costs needed to be reined in across the regions, particularly for private therapy, mentoring, and independent family assessments.
The email said work would be done to develop a list of approved service providers and to update the service’s funding methodology to allow for better processes for approving funding in the future.
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“Whilst this work is undertaken, managers have been asked to inform staff to be cautious in engaging in conversations via care teams or through internal consults which may set an expectation for funding being approved,” the email said.
Ms O’Connor said the email confirmed that Child Service staff had been asked to cut costs for important services for vulnerable children.
“These are for really important therapies for at-risk children, like for children that have experienced trauma,” she said.
Ms O’Connor said a directive to staff to manage the expectations of clients was shameful and short-sighted.
“These services might be high cost, but they are critical for the safety and wellbeing of Tasmania’s at-risk children,” she said.
Human Services Roger Jaensch said the safety of Tasmanian children and young people was a top priority for the government.
“Despite the Greens’ claims, there have been no reduction or cuts to the services that children or families require, nor will there be,” he said.
Mr Jaensch said the Liberals have invested heavily in child safety since 2014 and boosted the frontline workforce by 20 per cent.
He said the government had implemented a $2.5 million child safety package during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure access to the extra support.
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