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Ipswich protest for Child Safety and Youth Justice workers | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Together Union members took to the streets of Ipswich last Thursday to protest for Child Safety and Youth Justice workers. PHOTO: Together Queensland Facebook.

Sofia Matthews / Ipswich News Today

Together Union members working in Child Safety and Youth Justice took action in Ipswich last Thursday as part of their collective bargaining process.

The state-wide ‘Day of Action’, led by the Together Union, calls for better working conditions for those who believe the system is cracking at the seams.

Together Assistant Branch Secretary Dee Spink said these agencies are subject to high workloads and an attraction and retention crisis.

“Every day, workers are leaving these agencies because of workload stress and the fact they can be paid more elsewhere in similar roles. This means that vulnerable children and at-risk young people in the Ipswich community may not be getting the support they deserve,” she said.

“Together delegates have been negotiating with the agencies for a number of months, and the initial offer from the government did nothing to address issues of workload, attraction and retention, cultural safety, and many other important matters that make a difficult job even more challenging.

“By not addressing attraction and retention and safe workloads for these staff, the state government will continue to see huge workloads and high turnover in these critical roles – workers are just asking for the resources to do their job.”

The protest follows the recent My Life in Care survey findings, conducted by the Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services which offered a valuable insight into what is working well for children in care, and what needs to change.

More than 500 children and young people in care aged 10 to 18 completed the survey in late 2022, which found 88 per cent of children in care felt safe and secure, with 70 per cent reporting high levels of happiness. Positively, 94 per cent of children reported they had someone in their life that they trusted, and 83 per cent felt loved and cared for by someone.

The survey also identified areas that need greater focus, including help with schooling, mental health, and assistance with transitioning to adulthood.

Queensland Family and Child Commission Principal Commissioner Luke Twyford said the only way we can improve the system is by listening to the voices of those impacted it.

“Clearly, we must continue our efforts to improve outcomes for children in care, particularly in areas of education, physical and mental health, and transitioning to adulthood,” he said.

“It is heartening to see that so many children feel supported and cared for during what can be an extremely difficult time and it is a testament to their resilience and strength.

“It also shows the dedication of all the carers, caseworkers and support staff who work to provide the best possible care.”

However, despite the survey’s positive outcome, if workers are unable to receive the support they so desperately need, they will be unable to provide critical services for our community.

For more information on the Together Union campaign, visit together.org.au


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