The Community and Public Sector Union is calling on the NT government to provide more staffing and resources to Child Protection in the Budget on 15 May.

According to the union the department is struggling to provide much needed frontline support services for Northern Territory children and families due to understaffing, burn-out and unsustainable workloads.

CPSU members report turnover in Child Protection is exceeding 50% and caseloads remain unmanageably high at 30 to 40 extremely sensitive cases per worker. This has real impacts on outcomes for vulnerable children and on the mental health of staff.

CPSU NT Secretary David Villegas said “Our members in Child Protection have some of the most challenging jobs in the Territory. They do amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances, but there are simply not enough of them. They need more support from the Government, and they need it now.

While calling for more resources for Child Protection in the short term, the union has also called on the NT Government to do more in the medium term to make the NTPS a more attractive place to work.

“Better attraction and retention policy is crucial to the NT’s long-term future and with discussions on a new public service agreement set to kick off later in the year, the Government needs to lift it’s game,” said CPSU NT Secretary David Villegas.