Latest revelation to rock Child Safety
AS the state's embattled Child Safety Department struggles to stay on top of caseloads, further revelations have emerged about how vulnerable kids are being left exposed.
And the Department of Child Safety failed to meet its deadlines on more than 60 per cent of investigations statewide in the 12 months ending September 30, 2018.
The State Government has blamed increasing levels of multiple risk factors in homes, with combinations of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and criminal behaviour affecting families.
The department is required to sight and interview a child thought to be at risk within a set period, depending on the severity of the notification.
Each case is given a deadline to open an investigation - 24 hours, five days or 10 days.
But while the department meets its deadline on the most severe classification - getting to 93 per cent of investigations with 24 hours - at-risk children are left that way in most cases.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer, responding to a question on notice from the Opposition, said cases involving children at risk of harm were far more complex than 15 years ago when the time frames were set.
"Cases are increasingly complex and difficult," she said.
"More families present with multiple risk factors - such as domestic and family violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, intergenerational abuse and criminal histories - which increases time needed to gather information and plan safety for the child."
The Courier-Mail previously revealed Hervey Bay mother Charmaine Harris McLeod had come to the attention of the department in the months preceding a horrific crash that claimed her life and those of her four children last month.
Aaeleyn, 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4 and Zaidoc, 2, died when their car collided head-on with a truck near Kingaroy on May 27. The crash is being treated as a murder-suicide.
Ms Harris McLeod had posted on Facebook about the department's investigation into her children last December.
Opposition child safety spokesman Stephen Bennett said the department was in crisis and getting worse.
"More children are being put at unnecessary risk because the Department of Child Safety is being mismanaged by Labor," he said.
"The lives of our most vulnerable kids are at risk while urgently needed child safety reforms are delayed year after year."
Mr Bennett said Ms Farmer had presided over a child safety crisis, and urged Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to sack her immediately.