Vic’s children die after COVID changes service

Two Victorian children at risk died after conservation services reduced face-to-face visits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Victorian Children’s and Youth Commission reveals in its 2020/21 annual report that 45 children known for state conservation services died in last fiscal year. bottom.

In two of those deaths, it was confirmed that the service reduced face-to-face contact between the child and his family due to the restriction of the coronavirus.

The Commission stated that in both cases the service individually chose not to come into direct contact with other services related to the child and his family without first consulting.

In a report of more than 200 people submitted to the state legislature on Thursday, “The Commission said that reduced face-to-face contact addresses the risks faced by children experiencing significant child protection vulnerabilities. I found that it meant that I couldn’t evaluate it. “

“It also meant that the direct support previously provided by multiple services ended at a critical time.”

Of the total of 45 deaths, 13 were Aboriginal children and 30 were under the age of four.

The most common causes of death were accidents (9), illness (9), and sudden and unexpected death in infancy (8). The deaths of four children were due to suicide.

Deaths of vulnerable children in Victoria surged to record levels since 2011 in the last two years, with an additional 51 reported in 2019/20.

The Commission said the increase was due to a 39 percent increase in illness-related deaths.

Of the 41 inquiries about children who died between 2018 and 2021, an average of 3 reports were made to child protection services prior to their death. There were 29 reports in one case.

The Commission found that 17 inquiries included an “insufficient risk assessment of children and adolescents”, leaving children “a continuous risk of serious harm, sometimes for a considerable period of time.”

Previously, it called on the Victoria State Government to develop and implement an integrated system-wide investment model and strategy for the state’s child protection system.

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Vic’s children die after COVID changes service

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