Recommended improvements to the child protection system - child safety: problems and solutions
- Abusers job or title:: Fostercarer
- Category: Fixing the broken system
- Created: Sunday, 29 August 2010 08:48
- Written by Michael Borusiewicz in loving memory of Luke Borusiewicz
1. Bureaucracy - Child protection departments are run separately in each of the eight states of Australia. This protects the federal government from accepting any responsibility for the corruption and malpractice which is pervading the departments of child safety in every state.
These heinous entities are answerable to no one. Not only are they a black spot on the federal government bureaucracy, these departments who are nothing less than modern day Nazi Storm Troopers, are hidden and protected by the state governments they are empowered by.
2. Accountability - Strict and wide ranging media laws prevent the details of the children who have been kidnapped and murdered by these Child Protection Officers (CPOs) from being released. In other words, these children, sadly averaging under the age of four, who die after being forcibly removed from parents, have their deaths swept under the carpet.
If a CPO takes a personal dislike or even racist view of parents or a family, their actions can be severe. A clash of personalities can mean the death of a child, or the removal of children, never to see their parents again.
It is common practice for these public servants to lie in court, not only to achieve their own objectives, but also to hide their mistakes. It is unheard of for these workers to be held accountable in these situations. Put simply, they answer to no one.
3. A fairer and more effective complaint handling section - I know from my own personal experience with these public servants, which tragically is a worst case scenario, of the prejudiced and corrupt procedures occurring daily as a standard practice in every office of these CPOs.
My two year old son was removed from my protection and loving guardianship, then passed from foster home to foster home, until finally, he was left to die for six hours with a fractured skull.
A parent in this situation, like the child, has absolutely no one to turn to. The federal government will say it is out of their jurisdiction, and the senior representative of the relevant organisation in each state, no less than a minister of parliament, is less than approachable by even the most esteemed parent subjected to this plight.
I contacted the minister for child safety's office twice during my battle with the department of child safety Queensland. Since my son died I have contacted them several times also.
On every single occasion I have been referred to their own venerable smoke screen which masquerades as a departmental complaints unit. The child safety complaints hot line, not an administration, but a hot line, which most of the time will have you on hold for at least half an hour, if they answer at all. I have had many complaints of this happening to the parents that I deal with.
The whole office that I dealt with, the Cairns North branch, all the way up to the manager, knew about the dangerous situation my son had been placed in. The old lady refused to change nappies, she refused to take anyone under the age of three, she was addicted to pokies and these DoCS (Department of Child Safety) workers helped fund her addiction by oversupplying her with an abundant source of removed children.
4. Better Treatment of Families and Foster Carers - They also knew that numerous children had been neglected and abused by the old lady. Because of their mistreatment, many commendable foster carers have ceased their offers of assistance, there is a shortfall of foster carers.
I have spoken with foster carers who just shake their head at the arrogance and lack of understanding of these workers. One of these foster carers dropped their child with the old lady and commented to the DoCS worker how they could not see how this old lady could cope with so many children. Obviously they were ignored and the problem festered until my son died from injuries sustained in that same house.
This overloaded system makes it easier for paedophiles and people who are just in it for the money to become foster carers. In the end, all of these misfortunes fall disproportionately upon the children.
5. Changes to Infrastructure
In other words you have an incapable and debilitated, inactive and obscure department of child safety, running its own system for dealing with any of its inadequacies. This particular group of public servants acts more as a shield against the families they have mistreated, easily covering up any unkempt actions their comrades may have unleashed on the disadvantaged families they have imposed upon.
I rang this department of child safety hot line numerous times, never once achieving the slightest acknowledgment of my genuine concern. My final desperate plea for help being when I informed the hotline my two year old son was in the foster home of a seventy four year old woman, who had three older children also in her custody.
I was given the number of the branch in Cairns and told to ask for the Manager, Pat Anderson. The girl who was and probably still is the receptionist was brutish and impertinent, just like her mother, who was and probably still is one of the senior ranking staff in the Cairns office, known for being ruthless and heartless to the many families she hammered her views upon.
It came across to me that I should not even consider an audience with Pat Anderson, and though I tried repeatedly, my frantic cries for help were never followed up on, a simple return phone call from Pat Anderson would more than likely have saved my son's life.
My son lay in hospital with a fractured skull, dieing, within a week. I stayed by his bedside, singing to him, talking to him, in the hope that he could hear me, and so as not to let him pass away on his own. Over the week I watched him lose his functions as each part of his brain died off, until it was only his strong little heart that soldiered on, then they turned the machines off and he died in my arms.
6. Liability for False and Misleading Reports of Child Abuse
Why did they take him you may ask. Why did they take him and treat him worse than I ever would dream of, that is what I ask. I fought with his mother, what couple doesn't have their ups and downs, some worse than others. Should every Italian family have their children removed because they raise their voice? You raise your voice at a meeting with these people, and they cite it as an example of anger problems, which backs up their attempts to desecrate your family, removing the children and demanding that the parents end their relationship and separate, or never see the child again.
Many false reports are made by vindictive perpetrators, with the intention to use this service as a weapon against others. The malicious instigator of the investigation should be held accountable and effort should be made to deter all who would consider such evil disregard, which also wastes resources of this overworked department.
7. The Courts
If I may use my own experience as an example again, when I had moved to a different city, with my son and his mother, I secured a high paying job, and found the best family law solicitor I could. Things were going well, the judge ordered the child stay in foster care, but in the same city, as both parents were residing there.
DoCS blatantly disobeyed the judge, and moved my son into his third foster home in a week, at the age of two, in a completely different city. They made my son's mother an offer that they would give her our son back, if she was to end our relationship. We still loved each other, and we loved our son. We were never referred to relationship counseling, although they insisted that I do an anger management course. I also attended a toddler parenting course, amongst the numerous other ways I tried to regain custody of my son. I spoke to another parent who has done the toddler parenting course, three times, all to no avail. The point is, if they don't want to give your child back, it doesn't matter what you do, or what the judge says, their say is final, and they answer to no one.
8. Court Representation
I will refer to my own experience again to avoid any inclination that I may be exaggerating or fabricating such occurrences. I am contacted daily by desperate parents, with nowhere to turn.
Because most of the families that come into contact with this department are impoverished, they are disadvantaged when it comes to legal representation.
9. Accountability of CPOs for Corruption and Malpractice
There is actually a wall of shame where you can recommend or warn others about the solicitor you used when dealing with DoCS Australian Legislative Ethics Commission and there is also a wall of shame where you can tell people about the unfair treatment you received when dealing with your local CPO DoCS Wall of Shame
This is the only way currently that these people can be held accountable. The government is not standing up for countless families aflicted by these departments, so underground armies are forming. Safe houses where you can hide with your unborn child, removed from you at birth if you have any marijuana in your system, in the state of NSW. In countless other countries this drug is being legalised, here it is an excuse for them to kidnap your child.
10. The use of Non Government Organisations (NGOs)
There is another level of this department, above the complaints hotline, and below the ministers office. These..... I can describe them as no less than vermin, contacted me following my son's death, with a letter which addressed me by saying "Hi Michael".
I think this typifies the heartless and cruel conduct which satiates these departments. Not just in Queensland, and every state in Australia. This problem is world wide, but ironically, more significant in the developed countries.... Canada, UK, US, NZ.
I correspond with groups and families from these areas daily. All betrayed by their own government bureaucracies, helpless, and that is just the parents. What about these poor children who do not want to be removed. Many have never been abused, most have never left their parents side, dragged away by strangers or police, screaming and crying.
No one would ever have dared to call me a bad father. I had one visit supervised by an outside agency, an NGO. She went straight back to the DoCS office and demanded my child be returned, stating my behaviour and the love shown towards my son was outstanding. She was dismissed and ignored. They not only answer to no one, and listen to no one. This has to change.
My fridge was always stacked up with enough baby food for a month, a jumping castle in the lounge room, a huge kiddy pool in the back yard. I began music lessons everyday with my son at the age of five months. My dissidence ceased being a problem for unfit parents long ago. Do not say it won't or can't happen to you. Noone I knew could believe that they would take my son. Everyone knew how much I loved him.
This is about a group of public servants who are operating unchecked, answerable to noone, and hidden by a veil of secrecy, with corruption rife through its ranks, arrogant and obnoxious, through it's core, and all the way to the ministers office. Something has to be done, and the ranks of the underground armies are sadly growing.
Hundreds of children in Australia alone are dieing each year after coming into contact with these people who should be referred to as social workers, but instead consider themselves judge, jury and executioner. Infallible and flawless, armed with a university degree and a title.....Child Protection Officer.
11. Provide Easier Ways of Having These Stolen Children Returned.
Because of all the courses and counseling and meeting with DoCS officers, solicitors, midday contact visits with my son, it was not possible for me to hold down a full time job when I followed my son onto the next city where DoCS moved him. I had left this place as the last step in my fight against drug addiction, removing myself from that circle of people.
Therefore I decided to stay with the manager of St Vincent De Paul in a town located four hours away. I thought this may also help in my endless struggle to have my son returned. It made no difference. So weekly, I would travel for four hours, see my son for one hour then travel four hours back again.
I tried and tried and tried, there was nothing that I did that even made them blink an eyelid. I knew how much it was hurting my son, and I was devastated. Luke was all I lived for.
Some parents are cruel, selfish and irresponsible. Their children should not be subject to their heartlessness. Trigger happy CPS workers are lieing in court to inflict their biases upon disadvantaged families. Once the child is removed, they make it impossible for them to be returned, and insist upon limited interaction between the removed child and parents. More often than not this can be merely an hour every month or two. They refuse to acknowledge that this has severe impacts on every child's outlook on life.
It is so obvious to me that so many of these parents have had their reason for living ripped from them because of some mistake or shortfall. They try endlessly, many for year after year after year, pining for their lost child. There are many they forbid to have contact with their children until they are eighteen. The whole childhood of the son or daughter. This devastates a parent, and although sometimes necessary, should remain an absolute last resort. This has been the cause of many suicides, with both parents and children unable to cope with this thought. I recently lost a very close friend who committed suicide when DoCS threatened to take his new born baby. He chose for his three week old son to have no father, because he believed there would be less chance that the child would be taken if he was dead and the mother was alone. His biggest crime, he smoked marijuana.
I would like to suggest an amnesty from the ministers in each state of Australia. Go to your complaints office and check on the parents who have complained the longest and loudest. Chances are they love their children very much, and like their kids, are doing it hard. Check a little further, and I guarantee you they, like me, have never missed a visit, or even been late to one. Never missed a birthday, and obvious to anyone, love their children. We all make mistakes, and these departments are no different. It is time to start sifting through the files in search of sad stories, which can be changed into happy endings, where the CPOs can become heroes for fighting for the return of these children, instead of the villain. There have been numerous studies which confirm that the vast majority of children placed into foster care are in much more danger. Not only from sub-standard foster carer, many who will never love the child more than the parents they were removed from, but also their fellow playmates. Abused children who abuse the other children they come into contact with. There is also a degree of jealousy between the children of the foster carers and their play mates. I, like many many others, humbly beg for an amnesty, and for at least some of these cases to be reviewed, and common sense put into place above the ego power tripping DoCS worker.
It is time for the ministers of these departments to get their hands dirty for a month or two, or permanently. Get down to street level, visit some of these families, look into it case by case. Please fix these families lives.
12. Federal Investigation
In all honesty, I believe that even if this were to happen, it has gone way past the point of needing a few patch ups. There needs to be a royal commission into the practices of these departments Australia wide. No doubt, if Australia can come up with the improvements needed, other countries will follow and families and children's lives will be saved world wide.
Just as when there was corruption in tho police force, there should be a thorough investigation into the child safety departments in Australia. The corruption and poor service inherent in thisdepartment has been growing for generations. The stolen generation, the child immigrants, the adopted babies, and the latest was the forgotten Australians. And still nothing has changed. They kidnapped and murdered my two year old son, sent me a letter saying “HI”, and moved onto the next family.
Do not think it cannot happen to you. There are many who are finding that out the hard way. Once they come into your life, there is no one to turn to.
Written by Michael Borusiewicz
- Abusers Organisation:: Queensland Child Safety (Cairns)
- Type of Abuse:: Neglect, Emotional, Psychological or Mental, Death
- Matter Resolved?: No, Ongoing