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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

critics are complainers « Previous | |Next »
June 17, 2003

Street kids are becoming more prevalent, and they are part of the growing population of homeless people. Their existence is now a blight on the caring ethos of Adelaide as a city child of the Enlightenment.

This article by Leanne Craig spells out the failure of state governance. There is no money being given to increase the support (social worker) staff for kids at risk in dysfunctional families. The Department concerned (ie., the Family and Youth Services of the Human Services) was underfunded for years by the Olsen Liberal Government. No extra money for FAYS was provided by the Rann Government in its recent budget. It did spend money on child protection including

"...$8.3 million for increased subsidies for foster parents, $8.3 million to provide alternatives to foster care and other child support, $12 million for early intervention programs to support families at risk and $8 million to employ an extra 29 school counsellors. But, most critically, no additional staff for FAYS."

The result? Leanne Craig reports that:

"FAYS staff agreed yesterday to a series of work bans on administrative work, including no young offender reports, no court subpoenas, no responses to ministerial or MP requests or processing of FOI requests."

The work bans are supported by the Public Service Association. It says that an extra 200 social workers, legal officers and psychologists are needed in Family and Youth Services to overcome a "crisis".

The response by the Kevin Foley, the Treasurer, was to head kick. He said that e would not meet union demands by increasing FAYS staff next financial year and he accused the PSA of trying to bolster its membership.Then, he continued the union bashing by adding:

"Let's be serious, the PSA are the cheersquad of complainers when it comes to governments."

So much for political criticism in a state that goes on and on about its Enlightenment heritage. So much for a Labor Government that is always referring back to the social democratic vision of Don Dunstan as the light on the hill.

I keep on looking for that light. I cannot see it. All I hear is making money and pleasing the money men.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:03 PM | | Comments (1)


Do Social Workers really get kids off the street?

In my experience, people who live on the street do so because they aren't willing to trade an ounce of liberty for paternal comforts like shelter.

After all, it's not like it's a lack of money that is keeping them on the street. They have access to the same welfare entitlements that house-dwelling unemployed do.

I think the cause is something other than "lack of social workers". Like counsellors, the effect of social workers is anecdotal at best.

It's not that I don't think streetkids are a problem, don't get me wrong. I just don't think social workers are the solution.