Page 1035 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 19 March 2013

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MS BURCH: I think the response in this came from the executive director, so are you actually saying that the official provided you with an inadequate response?

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Ms Burch, please do not have a conversation across the chamber.

MS BURCH: I do beg your pardon, Madam Acting Speaker. What we are doing, and the work has started, as a result of the Public Advocate’s report, is this: the policies and procedures, the processes, were difficult to manage and were not clear, so we have begun on a very clear integrated management system that is quite a genuine overhaul of how policies and procedures, and practice, interplay in the day-to-day work of the worker as well. So you can have policies and procedures in a manual that are clearly defined and written, and sit electronically or sit in a manual on the shelf.

What an IMS seeks to do is to go through the functions of practice for when that first call is made, when that child of concern report is made. Then what are the processes and decisions, and what are the key points, that need to be determined and undertaken either until a decision is made to go into care or until alternative support arrangements are made. So what, through the IMS, is going through—it is working very clearly with a group of champions that are skilled social workers, care and protection workers, that are going through that process to make sure indeed that the policy and procedures are not separate and distinct from their day-to-day actions and decision-making processes.

At the end of it, and that is a longer process, it is a more complex process, but it will give the workers a stronger, safer and more supportive environment to operate in.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, why are there key policies and procedures and supporting tools that are either outdated or not in use?

MS BURCH: As part of the refresh in going through the IMS, you have to take a very big piece of work bites at a time. We have gone in and made the decision to look at those priority areas, the key areas. So those intakes and assessments, those crucial ones, it is my understanding are completed and we are working through the process over time. They will be completed this year. Because we made the very conscious decision to do the larger, more complex, in many ways more sensible piece of work than just to do a simple review and rewrite of policies and procedure, it takes longer. Again I refer those opposite to the milestone review committee reports. Their reports are available online and they make reference to the progress of this reform. They are satisfied with the progress we are making and the direction in which we are going.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why did it take so long for your directorate to become aware of all of the government’s problems and to start addressing them?

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