Secretary to Cabinet, Cassy O'Connor MP, appears confused about her delegated portfolio responsibilities.
When asked questions about the Gateway family support services, she denied she had responsibility for this area, yet this is clearly under Human Services.
The "Realignment of Human Services" states that the Minister for Human Services has primary responsibility for Family Support Services.
Ms O'Connor also appeared surprised that sexual assault services in the south of the State are only available for children up to the age of 12 years.
Child and Youth Sexual Assault Services are severely underfunded. In 2008-09 children made up 25% of clients of sexual assault services in the south, however in 2009-10, children now represent 35.9% of clients.
Furthermore, 50% of children seen at sexual assault services in southern Tasmania have Problem Sexual Behaviours (PSB).
However, due to no funding being available for counselling for children over 12 years of age in regard to PSB, school social workers, child protection workers, families and victims have no one to refer to.
PSB is a huge issue in adolescents, as this behaviour traumatises the school, the class room, teachers, parents, carers, students, victims, and so on.
Most kids with PSB have themselves experienced previous trauma, as well as low quality parenting and have no attachment to parents. This is leading to significant mental health issues.
There are no non-complex cases with PSB. Kids are often barred from school due to their behaviour.
If we are ever going to break the cycle of PSB, we need to do early intervention at the first point of notification as this is not happening. Early intervention is also desperately needed, especially in our high schools.