Media Releases

State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has welcomed the news by the Minister for Family and Community Services that an extra 42 frontline caseworkers will be available to meet face-to-face with children at serious risk of harm, but expressed her concern that the number is nowhere near enough to do the job.

Last month, Ms Hornery expressed her concern after a 60% increase in the number of vacancies of caseworkers in the Hunter.

A recent report showed 68 per cent of children reported to Family and Community Services were not receiving a face-to-face assessment from a caseworker.

The Minister for Family and Community Services needs to do more to ensure that the children and families in the Wallsend electorate who are most at risk get the services they need.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery

“The Minister was previously dumped from this portfolio in April 2014 after she cut more than $180 million and 110 full time caseworkers.”

“Now she is only putting back 42 of those positions. How many will be delivered to the Hunter and to the Wallsend electorate?”

“In the Hunter/New England region more than 11,900 children at risk of serious harm were not seen. These figures are the worst in the State.”

“The Minister hopes that the additional workers will reduce the number of children not being seen face to face to 50 per cent. Well Minister, that is not good enough.”

“There is a serious problem when the Minster thinks 50 per cent is acceptable. These figures are shocking and the Government don’t seem to care.”

“They just continue to cut budgets and jobs in services right across the Wallsend electorate.”

“Supporting the children and families who are most at risk in our society needs to be an absolute priority.”