Nanango MP Deb Frecklington with Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates.
Nanango MP Deb Frecklington with Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates. Michael Nolan

Shadow child safety minister wants tougher DV laws

TO KEEP kids safe we need better accountability from the protective services and tighter restrictions on domestic violence perpetrators.

This was the message Shadow Minster for Child Safety Ros Bates received when she toured the South Burnett meeting with social workers and crisis care staff on Monday.

The shadow minister met with staff from CTC and Endeavour but she missed the State Government's Child Safety Service staff who were out of town.

Mrs Bates praised the efforts of Kingaroy's Child Safety staff and said they had 100% of critical 24-hour investigations cleared within the required 60-day time period.

"They're doing better than many other Child Safety offices in Queensland,” Mrs Bates said.

"While they are doing very well in the 24-hour period, their five and 10-day are at about 12.5%.”

Mrs Bates said one the key hurdles of Child Safety staff in regional Queensland was securing long-term staff.

"A lot of staff when they do come to regional areas find it's not their cup of tea and they leave,” she said.

A high turnover of staff means vulnerable families will often see many different case, workers which in turn erodes their trust in the department.

"You're not getting that continuity of care,” Mrs Bates said.

She called for stiffer penalties for domestic violence order breeches.

State-wide breeches increased from 8221 in 2008 to about 24,787 in 2016 while Kingaroy numbers remain constant with 1000-1400 offences recorded each year.

"Domestic violence orders aren't worth the paper they're printed on if they are not enforced,” Mrs Bates said.

She also wants mandatory reporting to families when a domestic violence offender makes bail.