Children at Risk

Samaritans CEO

Statistics reveal the number of children at risk of significant harm is continuing to rise in the Hunter. 42 vulnerable children and young people in the Hunter are slipping through the cracks and are reported to be “at significant risk of harm.”

The number of reports of children at significant risk in the Hunter has increased from 12,202 in 2013 to 15,190 in 2016. Yet the percentage of these vulnerable children who were seen by a case worker has decreased from 30% in 2013 to 21% in 2016. This clearly reveals resources and funding are not being directed to where it is most desperately needed – the safety of every child and young person is paramount.

I believe early intervention is the most proactive means for keeping children safe. However, a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year revealed early intervention is under-funded so it’s no wonder the number of children at risk of harm is on the rise. There are of course other factors contributing to the rise in children at risk of significant harm; affordable housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, employment opportunities also form an important part of the solution to protect children.