Twin babies fight for life after vicious attack
POLICE are investigating the alleged assaults of twin babies whose parents were under the watch of Child Safety.
One of the twins is in intensive care with severe head injuries. Earlier this week the baby was on life support.
The second twin also suffered injuries.
The first child is expected to live but will suffer major health challenges. The other child's injuries are less serious.
"The family were known to the department due to an older sibling," an insider said. "There had been intervention and a parental agreement in place.
"Child Safety knew the parents had a violent relationship. Why did they leave these newborn babies in a very violent relationship?"
An Emergency Services source added: "It is very, very sensitive case. All of this comes from a background of violence. This will be reviewed seriously. There is a lot going on (in terms of an investigation)."
The Gold Coast Bulletin sent 18 questions to the office of Child Safety Minister Di Farmer yesterday about the case.
The Government last night responded with a short statement.
"I am very concerned about these children," Ms Farmer said.
"The ongoing police investigation and the restrictions of the Child Protection Act mean it is not appropriate for me to comment on the specific details.
"No child should be subjected to danger in their homes, and any kind of injury to a child is completely unacceptable to me and to Queenslanders.
"It is very disappointing that some would see abhorrent events such as these as an opportunity to score political points.
"Keeping children safe is my highest priority, and is something the whole community plays a vital role in."
The family had previous dealings with the department following claims of abuse against the older child, who was taken from the parents' custody.
An investigation was launched after the first twin was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital on July 11.
Police are investigating whether the injuries were consistent with a shaken baby.
The Department of Child Safety went to the home of the baby and found its twin with unexplained head injuries.
The two children are still in hospital.
Police confirmed an investigation was underway but no charges had been laid at this time.
"The Gold Coast District Child Protection Investigation Unit is investigating after a seven-month-old baby girl presented to the Gold Coast University Hospital with serious unexplained head injuries on July 11, 2018," they said in a statement.
"Further investigations have identified a male twin sibling who has also sustained an unexplained head injury.
"As the matter is ongoing, no further information can be released."
The police investigation and departmental review of the case is expected to put a spotlight on the resourcing of Child Safety on the Coast.
Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates yesterday said the incident showed the Child Safety crisis was getting worse, with at least 8 per cent of children at risk not being seen within the time frame for priority cases.
"Too many kids are suffering and as a mother it breaks my heart to hear of more and more cases of abuse and neglect," Ms Bates said.
"Sadly, this latest tragic case isn't an isolated incident.
In 2016-17, the department recorded 22,683 notifications relating to 20,076 children. The number of notifications had increased by 0.3 per cent from 22,607 in 2015-16. The number of children subject to notifications increased by 0.7 per cent.
Ms Bates said the backlog at Nerang up to 12 months ago included almost 150 cases.
"These are not numbers. They are kids," she said.