A conduct review of the staff involved in managing Chloe Valentine’s case has been carried out by the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) in response to the findings of the Coronial Inquest into her death.
The review, which was requested by Chief Executive Tony Harrison, assessed the conduct of the 11 employees named in the Coroner’s Report who are still employed by DECD.
Of the 11, eight were identified as being criticised by the Coroner.
The review recommended that the eight employees identified for criticism by the Coroner be dealt with managerially in a process involving direction and counselling via a one-on-one session with Mr Harrison to address specific points raised in the Coroner’s findings.
This process has been concluded for seven of the eight staff and will be conducted with the final employee as soon as possible.
Mr Harrison made the following statement in relation to the review:
“Poor decisions were made but it is clear from the review that in the majority of cases this was the result of misguided policy, insufficient guidance or a lack of training.
“These systemic deficiencies have been addressed and the child protection practices will be further strengthened as we implement the Coroner’s recommendations.
“Social workers do a difficult job in an incredibly high risk environment.
“The potential consequences of the decisions they make can be grave, which is why the system has to be robust enough to reduce or eliminate the influence of individual errors of judgement.
“In the tragic case of Chloe Valentine the system failed that test.”