On the day a frustrated father protested on the Sydney Harbour Bridge over access to his children, I finished a nearly nine month stint as a Community Services caseworker.
Although Mick Fox’s grievance centred on custody arrangements after divorce, Community Services, forever to be known as DoCS, was also a target of his outrage.
A former girlfriend said, ‘I was with him for a lot of the time when he was trying to get in contact with DOCS [the Department of Community Services] and the police, purely because his kids were in danger every day.’
However the police and even the Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward denied it was a case in which Community Services were involved.
Without commenting on this particular case, it is sometimes one of the less attractive strategies of battling partners in divorce and custody cases to ring the child protection Helpline to accuse the other party of harming the children.
For a child protection system already stretched to the limit, these calls are always investigated thoroughly but soak up the precious time of caseworkers.
And so the day began on that dramatic note and proceeded to by a relatively typical day for my final one as a caseworker. Read More »