Now both in their early 20s, the brothers were described by the royal commission to have lived with significant global development delay, intellectual disability and autism, and had limited verbal communication.
Their father had been the sole carer for most of their lives, and it was unclear how long he had been dead when his body was found – at which point police observed faeces on the floor of a spare bedroom and main bedroom.
The brothers were admitted to hospital, where they spent two weeks. As of May, they lived together in a suburban home with full-time support from an NDIS service provider.
Why it matters
Both men received diagnoses in their early years of life and were the subject of notifications to the Child Safety Department, or identified as at risk of neglect, from birth.
Kaleb lived with foster carers across much of his first two years.
Both were also removed from their father’s care in 2010 after concerns raised with police and the department culminating in the brothers being found in the same home then described by a child safety officer as being “unlivable for children”.
The case is one of several across recent years raising questions about the state’s child safety system.
What they said
“The findings highlight that the risk of violence, abuse and neglect for children with disability requires active attention and action by family, friends, the community, and all government departments and agencies that come into the lives of children,” the report states.
“These findings … provide an opportunity to put in place measures that ensure what happened to [Kaleb and Jonathon] never happens to any other child with disability.”
Crawford said the government would consider compensation as part of its response to the report and recommendations, which would be delivered “in due course”.