In Western Australia, until recently, children taken into care were not automatically assessed against standardised measures to determine what help they needed. We are pleased that a standard assessment tool has been agreed on, which is a major Alliance policy objective.

However, many children in care do not have a care plan that sets out what will happen to them and who is responsible.

Reviews of a child's progress are irregular and not systematic. A child may have particular needs but within the out of home care system there is no guarantee they will be met.

There are no statistics we can quote here because our community does not assess, plan or measure out of home care performance. What we can tell you, without numbers, is that:

  • Right now there are children in care who need psychological help but are not getting it.
  • There are children who need extra tutoring to catch up at school, who are not getting it.
  • There are children in care who need dental work but can't access treatment.
  • There are children who are ostracised at school because they have old clothes, no personal possessions, cannot invite friends home, cannot attend school outings. Many of these children are feeling that they are to blame for the abuse or neglect that led to them being taken into care.

When we as a society take these children into care we take on a parenting responsibility – and we are failing them.