Grandma's anguish: Child Safety failed my grandchildren
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
REFERRING to your article (The Gympie Times, April 13) regarding Child Safety having had first hand experience with child safety issues with the matter going before a magistrate and Family Law court twice, the whole system leaves so much to be desired.
Our grandchildren's father was informed by his ex-partner's family that he should be aware that his children were living in horrendous circumstances. A process was put in place to get them out of this situation with him being advised by a solicitor to keep the children.
A recovery order was issued by the mother and on going before a magistrate he was ordered to return the children that day. Due to the time frame the magistrate would not accept documentation on the day of court. The matter was then referred to the Family Law Court.
After two court appearances the children have remained with the mother until a further appearance in May this year. The father's time was also reduced, with no time at all in the school holidays. The father has never been accused of any wrong doing, with the children visiting every week for three and four days since 2015.
The only good thing to come out of the court appearances was the last one appointing a Family Report be carried out and an independent children's lawyer be appointed. However, in the meantime who is looking after the children?
Every time these children have been collected for a weekend visit they still show cuts and marks and talk of being belted by members of the household.
Three reports have also been made to Child Safety with investigations being carried out after some considerable time.
Some time after the second report contact was made by a police officer from Child Safety inquiring about how the children were going in the father's care. When he was informed otherwise he was quite shocked as his last report showed this. He obviously did not have the third report.
After the third report to Child Safety they advised to keep an eye on the children for any further abuse to them. This being impossible at the time as the children's mother would not allow any contact by any of the concerned family members until a further court appearance. I do understand that they were not investigating the matter as it was in the hands of the court by this time.
How can a judge let these little children, aged three and four at the time, remain in the care of this mother and her partner after all the reports and documentation that has been submitted, mostly coming from the children's mother's family, outlining how these children are being cared for prior and since September 2016.
What has happened to them during this period of time will live with them forever. The system has failed them.