Leaked data reveals almost daily child abuse in Rocky
ALMOST every day in Rockhampton child safety officers are finding kids being abused in homes, the Queensland Opposition claims.
And behind every number is a child who is at risk of abuse, or has been abused.
Information revealed by the office of Opposition leader Tim Nicholls comes as police investigate the shock death of a six-month-old baby boy in Yeppoon.
The child died on Monday. The boy's father allegedly told police the child was injured when he tripped and fell down the stairs while carrying him.
The Department of Child Safety was alerted the child was living in a potentially dangerous household three months prior to his death, but believed there was no cause for concern, Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said.
Statistics released by Mr Nicholls' office show in October last year, Rockhampton had the highest number of child safety cases in the Central Queensland region.
In that month, 65 cases were closed, of which 23 were confirmed cases of abuse.
At the end of October, 91 cases were still left open with 60 having been open for longer than the required 60-day closure period.
For comparison, during the same period Caboolture had 29 cases open for longer than 60 days.
Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates expressed her disappointment and concern about the system following the infant's death.
"Rockhampton is in a worse state than Caboolture and staff are stretched to the limit,” Ms Bates said.
"Secret internal data from October 2016 shows only 20 per cent of abuse reports requiring a 10-day response were actioned in time in Central Queensland.”
"Worse still for abused children is that some 12 per cent of critical 24-hour cases were missed.”