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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2540 asked in the Legislative Council on 25 September 2019 by Hon Nick Goiran

Question Directed to the: Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection
Minister responding: Hon S.F. McGurk
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to the Study of Qld child protection workers aired on AM 720 ABC on 29 May 2019, and in regard to the support accessed by Western Australian child protection workers, I ask:
(a) what supports are made available to such workers; and
(b) how many such workers accessed those supports in 2018?

Answered on 29 October 2019

(a) The Department of Communities prioritises the wellbeing of its staff and has the following supports in place for child protection workers: 

  • Workplace health and wellness resources, including Mental Health First Aid training, customised counselling programs and online information and links to a range of additional community support services.
  • Measures based on the Sanctuary and Therapeutic Framework for child protection workers, including access to psychologists and a range of incident debrief, team and supervisor meetings and ‘Red Flag’ meetings, which can be raised by any staff member and require all workers to stop work and meet to discuss an imminent issue or risk.
  • The Employee Assistance Program, which is a 24/7 service available via telephone, in person or online. It delivers free, confidential, short term counselling services to staff and their immediate family members on any matter, including work, personal and financial issues. This service is promoted to staff in training, regular annual EAP information sessions and is accessible and available to all staff on the Communities intranet.
  • Comprehensive and ongoing professional case practice training and development programs, regular case load reviews, and workplace policies that actively encourage employees to be aware of and maintain their personal wellbeing and to support the wellbeing of colleagues.  

(b) In 2018:

  • 290 employees that accessed the Employee Assistance Program disclosed they were child protection workers, and
  • 740 child protection workers completed a component of Communities’ 76 customised training programs regarding self-care and case practice.