The country’s child protection care workforce “is temporarily reduced as a result of suspensions and resignations [and] this means fewer placements in [longer-term] residential care and increased demand for interim arrangements,” Simmons was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun, following an inquiry on the suspension of 25 care-givers.
According to the online newspaper, as of the start of December 2014, some 78 children per night were living in emergency accommodation, compared to about 30 children in October 2013. Emergency accommodation includes motel rooms, rented apartments or cabins in South Australia.
Simmons added that, at any given time there are as many as 20 children staying in emergency housing for up to 18 months, before arrangements can be made for them to be transferred to foster homes.
Meanwhile, Rachel Sanderson, an SA member of parliament and advocate for child protection, has called on the government to explain the “significant jump” in the number of children in emergency care, as quoted by the Herald Sun.