Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 - The Hon Ann Bressington, MLC
A Foster Carer Forum will be hosted by The Hon Ann Bressington (MLC) & Nina Weston from Children In Crisis Inc. this Thursday 11th March, 2010, in the Balcony Room of Parliament House.

The meeting aims to address the problems faced by Foster Carers and develop negotiation points to better work with Families SA.

“We no longer have mere system failure, but total absence of a system,” Ms Bressington said.

“We are no longer dealing with a few minor oversights on a handful of cases, but a distinct absence of anyone at the helm of this ‘Department of Social Workers’ who run rough-shot over people’s lives. There is no complaint mechanism for parents or carers to be heard, there is no regulation of professional practice or compliance with the Department’s Manual of Practice and there is no-one in charge to stop children being wrongfully removed at a moments notice.”

As in the case of the Member for Flinders, Liz Penfold M.P. constituents, who lost their Foster child on what appears to be nothing more than a whim, Ann Bressington has received many similar complaints from Foster Carers.

“In one such near identical case, the Foster Carers had fostered two sisters with intellectual and behavioural disabilities for over five years (now aged 10 and 15). Both girls were taken away suddenly from them on nothing but rumour and innuendo after the family sought assistance from the Department for the challenging behaviours of one of the children with respect to her personal hygiene”, Ms Bressington said.

“Despite one of the teenagers refusing to leave the Foster Carer and returning when taken, extreme pressure has been applied by the Department for her to reside with yet another Foster family – her fourth since she was taken from the original Foster Carer in April 2009. Her 10 yr old sister was placed in a family unknown to anyone, some 300kms away, and all efforts have been made to keep her and her sister separated not only from the love and support of the Foster family, but even each other. The sisters have had 2 hours contact with each other in nearly a year since their removal and separation.

“This Foster family, after more than 5 years of caring for both disabled children, had saved this State many hundreds of thousands of dollars, but their maltreatment at the hands of the Department has cost the family and the State so much more. With their reputations under a cloud, there is one less family who could now take in some of the State’s most difficult to place children and anyone who hears of this family’s story would never contemplate becoming a Foster Carer only to face the same treatment.”

Ms Bressington observed, “Since the damning 2009 Select Committee Report into Families SA, it appears that the Department’s Social Workers are working even harder to be intrusive, disruptive and flex their muscles and it makes no sense at all”.

“The Minister owes many families a reasonable explanation for Families SA’s failings that she has so far refused to acknowledge or address. It is time for Minister Rankine to step up to the plate and offer more than ‘motherhood statements’ in relation to the conduct of some of the child protection workers employed by Families SA,” Ann Bressington said.

For further information, please contact Ann Bressington directly on 0448 887 277

Contact Profile

The Hon Ann Bressington, MLC

Independent Member of the South Autralian Legislative Council
The Hon Ann Bressington
P: 82379541

Children in Crisis

Foster Carer Support Group
Nina Weston


Families SA, Foster Care, Public Meeting,



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