We just posted on this case recently. Now we find out that "neighbors and family members" had repeatedly contacted the authorities about this unemployed, dysfunctional UNNAMED FATHER. Not only were these children neglected, they lived in squalor (earlier reports also mention something about drugs in the home). Yet all the complaints were ignored until recently. So how and why did this father maintain CUSTODY? Who gave it to him?
Note the very last line. "The children are now with their mother and are appropriately cared for." Well, if Mum was able to provide appropriate care, why were the kids sleeping in the same bed as dad surrounded by dog sh**? Still think dads are at a disadvantage when it comes to custody? Not even close, pal. The pendulum has swung way the other direction these days, though very few members of the general public seem to have realized this. Yet.
Community Services didn't act on child risk
BY DONNA PAGE
26 Jun, 2010 04:00 AM
COMMUNITY Services has admitted it failed to act, despite receiving numerous reports about concern for the welfare of three children whose father pleaded guilty to neglect in Newcastle Local Court earlier this week.
Neighbours and family members have said they repeatedly contacted Community Services and Housing NSW over a period of years because they feared the children were at risk.
It has been revealed that Housing NSW also contacted Community Services in November last year after its inspectors found two of the children at home alone.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that an unemployed father had been fined $800 after pleading guilty to neglecting his three children, aged 10, 12 and 14.
The family's Department of Housing residence had a broken toilet full of human waste and none of the lights worked. It was infested with cockroaches and littered with dog faeces.
The children shared a bed with their father in the living room because there were dog faeces on the bedroom floors.
Community Services Minister Linda Burney conceded action should have been taken sooner.
Ms Burney described the conditions the children were forced to live in as "squalid".
"It would have been preferable if action had been taken earlier but, as Justice Wood identified in his special commission of inquiry into child protection, there is massive demand on the system," she said.
"This puts pressure on case workers to determine which cases are the highest priority."
Community Services initially refused, on the basis of privacy concerns, to reveal if it had any knowledge of the family before police intervened on May 20.
But when faced with the details of reports from neighbours and family, a department spokeswoman conceded the agency had received prior reports about the children but they were not acted on.
"The reports were not able to be allocated due to competing priorities but, following serious concerns raised in May, Community Services responded and has since been working with the family," she said.
"The children are now with their mother and appropriately cared for."