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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2160 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 May 2019 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Question Directed to the: Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services
Minister responding: Hon S.F. McGurk
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

I refer to the Pilbara towns of Newman, Port Hedland, Karratha, Tom Price and Newman, and I ask:
(a) will the Minister provide the number of children under the care of the Department of Child Protection (DCP) for each of those locations annually for the past five years;
(b) on how many occasions in the past five years have children in the care of the State in the above locations had recorded or reportable interactions or incidences with police; and
(c) will the Minister outline what, if any, response came from DCP on each of the occasions in (b)?

Answered on 26 June 2019

(a) The number of children in the care of the Department of Communities (Communities), including its predecessors prior to July 2017 in the towns of Karratha and Tom Price are listed jointly under ‘other towns’ and not individually itemised as the low number may lead to the identification of these children. Additionally, the numbers provided for Port Hedland include both Port Hedland and South Headland.

 On 20 May 2019, there were 96 children under the care of Communities in the following Pilbara towns:

  • 26 children in care in Newman
  • 65 children in care in Port Hedland, and
  • five children in care in other towns.

On 30 June 2018, there were 94 children under the care of Communities in the following Pilbara towns:

  • 30 children in care in Newman
  • 58 children in care in Port Hedland, and
  • six children in care in other towns. 

On 30 June 2017, there were 100 children under the care of the then Department for Child Protection and Family Support in the following Pilbara towns:

  • 35 children in care in Newman
  • 65 children in care in Port Hedland, and
  • nil children in care in other towns.

On 30 June 2016, there were 90 children under the care of the then Department for Child Protection and Family Support in the following Pilbara towns:

  • 29 children in care in Newman
  • 56 children in care in Port Hedland, and
  • five children in care in other towns.

On 30 June 2015, there were 116 children under the care of the then Department for Child Protection and Family Support in the following Pilbara towns:

  • 41 children in care in Newman
  • 69 children in care in Port Hedland, and
  • 6 children in care in other towns.

(b-c) The information requested is not readily available from Communities’ child protection information system. As this information is held on individual case files, it would impose a significant administrative burden on Communities to source this data.