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Minister reveals 100% of private child service providers are providing inaccurate information to the Government

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024

4 March 2024 - The Minister for Families and Communities has revealed under questioning in Budget Estimates that 100% of surveyed private out of home care service providers are providing inaccurate information to the Government about vulnerable children in foster care arrangements. Despite the Minister having direct legal responsibility for children in out of home care arrangements, private service providers are failing to even tell the truth about what is occurring under their watch.

Greens MP and spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson said “The revelation that private service providers in the child protection system are misleading the Minister responsible and the Government is beyond appalling and demands an immediate review and public report on how this has happened,”

“The revelation of this failing was due to incorrect information provided to my office by the Minister and it only became apparent through the strong advocacy of an Aboriginal mother who was raising concerns about her child. Had this information not been requested, it is unclear when this extreme failure would have been revealed,”

“This should shock every single person who has ever engaged with the out-of-home care sector. It lays bare the deeply flawed nature of a system which is meant to protect and care for vulnerable young people. Instead, what we see is that 100% of these essential service providers are failing in their interactions with the Department of Communities and Justice to provide accurate information,”

“The reality of these inaccuracies have dire consequences for the young people and their families the Government has been charged with protecting. These errors are not merely administerial in nature, they have real-world consequences that can drastically alter the outcomes for some of the most vulnerable in our society,” 

“The fact is we are now seeing very dire consequences of the privatisation of a public service sector that should never have happened. Many in the sector are operating a business model of profit from the most vulnerable young people in our State,”

“The Minister is responsible for the protection of children in the out of home care system. It is simply not good enough that this responsibility has been outsourced to the private sector which lacks crucial mechanisms for accountability and reform,”

“The for-profit model overseen for the past 12 years by the Coalition Government has left this sector, its workers and the young children who rely on it reeling. We need to shift responsibility back to the State, and it is up to the Government of the day to make these changes,”

“Non-Government entities should never have been involved in the care of vulnerable young people. The former Government set up a system where we are outsourcing responsibility for children, and  it is the duty of the new Minister to correct this, and end the use of private service providers in the out of home care system,” 


“These children have experienced incredible difficulties in their young lives and deserve the best possible outcomes available to them. The findings from this Government audit expose the critical failings of the private service providers to these young people and their families. We have a duty of care to right these wrongs,” Ms Higginson said. 

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024


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