Victoria to close loophole for ‘dodgy doctors’ giving vaccination exemptions

Updated November 15, 2017 09:21:19

Letters from doctors excusing children from immunisation will no longer be accepted by Victorian child care centres and kindergartens, as the Government moves to toughen its “No Jab, No Play” laws.

The changes mean immunisation history statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be the only documents accepted as evidence of a medical reason for a child not to be immunised.

Victorian Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said, under legislation being introduced to Parliament today, other medical documents would be rejected.

“In essence, this is in response to a very small group of dodgy doctors who are putting the community’s health and safety at risk, who have been providing letters for parents with blanket exemptions, claiming that there is a medical reason for that child not to be immunised,” she said.

Debate around immunisation focuses on ‘vaccine refusers’ but experts say we cannot ignore the other reasons children miss out on vaccines.

“We’re going to ensure there is only one set of documentation that will be accepted now.”

Ms Mikakos said federal authorities were currently investigating doctors helping patients get around immunisation rules.

Victoria’s No Jab, No Play legislation ban unvaccinated children from attending child care and kindergarten.

In August, Melbourne doctor John Piesse agreed to have his licence to practice suspended for issuing medical exemption certificates for children.

At the time he said what he was doing was “totally legal”.

His practice in Mitcham was raided in September by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and police officers.

Federal Government records from 2015 showed about 30,000 Australian children — about 1.34 per cent — were granted “conscientious objection” exemptions from vaccination

Vaccination science is ‘crystal clear’

Ms Mikakos also said the changes would make the process much easier for early childhood learning services, who will now only have to deal with one set of documents for each child.

“Parents will also need to provide these immunisation history statements at regular intervals to make sure kids are up to date,” she said.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said he supported any changes to boost important vaccinations.

Ms Mikakos said overall rates of immunisation had increased in the two years since the No Jab, No Play laws were introduced.

“I’m pleased to say Victoria has now hit 95 per cent of five-year-old children being immunised, which is a very positive outcome,” she said.

“We know the science is crystal clear — vaccinations are safe and they are saving lives.”

Topics: vaccines-and-immunity, health, state-parliament, government-and-politics, education, child-care, vic

First posted November 15, 2017 09:16:21

The ‘life school’ helping Indigenous teenage mums kick alcohol and drugs

Updated August 20, 2017 11:35:54

Caught in the cycle of crime and alcohol, some Cape York girls are finally getting the break they need. Video: Caught in periodic crime and alcohol, some Cape You are able to women are finally obtaining the break they require. (ABC News)

Only 62 percent of Indigenous women on Cape You are able to graduate senior high school, which is even harder to complete whenever you fall pregnant.

Many teenage mums are eager to break a cycle of disorder and disadvantage, including substance abuse and violence.

They’ve switched to some one-of-a-kind boarding school, the Cape You are able to Girl Academy, for help.

The scholars survive-campus using their babies and also have training in from studying right through to cooking for any baby.

Lazariah Creek, 17 years of age

Lazariah Creek only agreed to be fifteen years old and caught inside a cycle of crime and excessive drinking when she fell pregnant.

“When I was becoming an adult I had been travelling the roads and following my buddies and that i experienced alcohol and drugs and that is after i had Stanley,” she stated.

“I had been along with the incorrect crew, hanging around the roads during the night and chucking rocks at cars and entering things.

“I’m not going Stanley becoming an adult like this. I’m not going that occuring to Stanley.”

Mum Lazariah Creek helps son Stanley with a puzzle. Photo: Mother Lazariah Creek and baby Stanley Creek in the Cape You are able to Girl Academy. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)

Lazariah continues to be living at Girl Academy since the beginning of the entire year and it is studying for income when they are young education.

“This is actually the only chance I’ve, I recieve to possess a second chance at learning,” she stated.

“I did not understand how to grow him [Stanley] up correctly however I actually do.

“It sometimes will get hard but he’s my child, my responsibility. I must take care of him.”

Stanley Creek looks at the camera Photo: Baby Stanley Creek lives with mother Lazariah Creek in the Girl Academy. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)

Corrin Walden, 19 years of age

Corrin Walden is among five students at Girl Academy going to finish year 12.

They’ll be the very first women to graduate because the school opened up this past year.

“I wish to restart my existence,” she stated.

“After I is at Doomadgee I had been low, miserable. After I came here my whole existence altered. Personally i think happy.

“What this means is for me personally a vibrant future after i finish here.”

Karen Charlton speaks with student Corrin Walden Photo: Corrin, pictured with teacher Karen Charlton, is going to finish year 12. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)

Corrin was worried her daughter Akaydeia would repeat her “mistakes” as well as be a teen mother.

“I would like her to possess a good existence, a contented existence you realize,Inch she stated.

“I’m not going her becoming an adult in Doomadgee thinking smoking and consuming is common on her.

“I wish to allow it to be better for the two of us.Inch

Leanne Fox, Principal

“We frequently joke this is actually the school of small wins,” she laughs.

Leanne Fox required outrageous job at Girl Academy captured and she isn’t shy about revealing the difficulties.

Leanne Fox looks at the camera Photo: Leanne Fox, principal in the Girl Academy, states it is a “holistic approach” to education. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)

“Not every one of our women had babies simply because they made a decision to.

“It isn’t particularly pretty, but our women are strong plus they want something better for their and themselves children.

Twenty women presently board in the private school, which operates on Government support and donations.

The Main stated she will get applications for the aid of all across the nation.

“There aren’t any other boarding schools where they are able to go and accept their babies,” she stated.

“We concentrate on teaching them parenting skills, independent living and studying and writing. It is a holistic method of education.”

Kaynita Bara Bara Photo: Kaynita Bara Bara, 1, in the Cape You are able to Girl Academy in August 2017. (ABC News: Allyson Horn)

Topics: indigenous-policy, government-and-politics, indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, indigenous-culture, community-and-society, child-care, pregnancy-and-giving birth, adolescent-health, education, parenting, family-and-children, wangetti-beach-4871, queensland, aurukun-4871

First published August 20, 2017 11:12:47

Labor opposes suggested merger of faculty care centres

Published This summer 04, 2017 06:11:23

The Government Opposition is asking for any suggested merger between two from school hrs health care providers to become scrapped.


  • Camp Australia searching at merging with school care provider Junior Adventures Group
  • When the merger were to go forward, US-based Bain Capital would control in regards to a quarter from the market
  • Labor opposes merger, lodges a submission towards the ACCC

Camp Australia, that was lately acquired through the US-based investment firm Bain Capital, is searching at merging with pre and post school care provider Junior Adventures Group, which operates about 400 sites australia wide.

When the merger were to go forward, Bain Capital would control in regards to a quarter from the market.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reviewing the proposal.

Labor is against the merger and, inside a rare move, has lodged a submission towards the ACCC.

Opposition spokeswoman for early childhood education and development Kate Ellis stated she’d several concerns concerning the proposal.

“This is about a foreign hedge fund gaining access to government subsidies and parents’ charges with an unparalleled scale,” she stated.

Ms Ellis cautioned the merger would increase costs for moms and dads.

“Where these for-profit, independently-owned providers have walked in formerly, charges have typically been greater and the caliber of service which has been delivered has typically been lower,” she stated.

Labor can also be worried about one provider being in charge of this type of large business.

Ms Ellis stated she didn’t need to see a repeat from the ABC Learning collapse, which may leave a large number of working mums and dads within the lurch.

“When we get one foreign-owned for-profit provider controlling a lot of the marketplace place, then there’s an enormous risk when anything became of that provider, it might be disruptive to the education system but additionally to the national economy,” she stated.

Parents could have to pull kids from care: peak body

Her concerns are based on the height body representing the pre and post school care sector, the nation’s From School Hrs Services Alliance.

Spokeswoman Robyn Monroe Miller stated parents could have to pull their children from their care.

“Latchkey kids were extremely popular within the 1970s. Is that this what we will have to go back to?Inch she stated.

Answering questions regarding charges, Bain Capital stated inside a statement that schools select providers “carrying out a tender or contract process”.

“Prices are members of that tender process, meaning schools possess a say on prices once they choose the provider,” it stated.

“There’s also regular possibilities for review.”

ACCC to think about impact of merger: Government

A spokesman for that Department of Training and education stated the federal government hasn’t designed a submission towards the ACCC.

“It’s the role from the ACCC to think about the result the suggested merger may have on competition on the market,Inch they stated.

But Ms Ellis stated she didn’t agree and it is arriving the political heat.

“The Federal Government must have a take on what’s the main issue,Inch she stated.

“It might be unthinkable for all of us to consider any kind in our education system being run such as this.

“We will not have for-profit, foreign-owned hedge funds controlling a lot of our education services.”

The ACCC will announce its ultimate decision or to produce Statement of Issues through the finish from the month.

Topics: government-and-politics, federal-government, schools, education, community-and-society, children, child-care, australia

Tasmania’s child protection workers blast system’s priorities

Updated This summer 09, 2017 21:56:37

Child protection workers in Tasmania have damaged ranks to detail a method they are saying is worse now than ever.

Three workers, some who still operate in the machine and a few who’ve lately left, say it is almost out of the question their jobs, creating a bad situation worse for at-risk children.

The employees are risking a great deal by reporting in so can’t be identified.

“The final 12 several weeks will be the worst I have observed in child protection,” one stated.

“They have just veered away a great deal from the main business and also the role of searching after children.”

Based on the source, that has about 2 decades of expertise within the sector, the main focus in child protection is becoming stopping negative press.

“It did appear that call-making grew to become less about what’s within the needs from the children contributing to the department in general being regarded as doing their job well,” they stated.

“A good example of that might be situation notes — children’s disclosures weren’t upon databases.

“It was intentional to ensure that further action did not have to be taken.

“There would be a push for cases to simply be closed.”

‘At-risk cases not checked out for months’

Insufficient situation notes and also the unallocated situation list were issues elevated by the 3 workers.

One stated the figures of unallocated cases appeared to be placed on the “active in transition” list to really make it harder to trace the figures and also to avoid negative publicity.

“It isn’t another list, therefore the figures haven’t moved, the figures haven’t gone elsewhere. It is the same factor simply with another name,” they stated.

“They’ve been reviewed, potentially, quite a few them have experienced nothing [done], not checked out for several weeks and several weeks. And individuals are cases which have been assessed as at-risk children.”

Linton Besser’s Four Corners analysis reveals a few of the country’s most broken youngsters are being put into serious danger.

Department of Health insurance and Human Services (DHHS) secretary Michael Pervan stated notifications going from intake to response have been known as “active in transition” for 2 years.

“They are cases which are being positively monitored because they transition from intake to response — and so the name,Inch he stated inside a statement.

“All notifications are susceptible to immediate initial assessment.

“Today the present quantity of children active in transition over the condition is 16, in March 2017 it had been 100, a substantial reduction.”

Mr Pervan denied staff have been asked to produce less situation notes.

“Actually, the entire opposite has become the situation because the incorporation of Indications of Safety into child protection practice,” he stated.

Investment giving frontline staff ‘no relief at all’

2 yrs ago the Tasmanian Government pumped greater than $20 million into child protection included in the “redesign” from the system.

One worker stated that little from the money have been spent to alleviate the stress on frontline staff.

“It provides us no relief all, it simply grows that hopelessness, I guess, that there are just more and more people to work under about how exactly we can not achieve what we are designed to achieve,” they stated.

“They connect their cash and sources in management and roles that do not directly help with the analysis, assessment and safety planning children.”

The employees believe the brand new staff have recently added a layer of paperwork and question the priorities of management.

“The main difference between what management are involved about and just what frontline staff are involved about is that they see figures so we see children,'” they stated.

“It’s simpler to become dismissive of figures, I guess.Inch

Tasmanian Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma Photo: Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma stated child protection staff were dedicated to helping children. (ABC News)

Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma rejected that suggestion, saying she’d “full confidence within the manager and staff”.

“Individuals who manage and operate in Child Safety Services are committed, first of all, towards the wellbeing of vulnerable children,” Ms Petrusma stated inside a statement.

“Up to now, 12 [full-time] positions happen to be put into the frontline included in the redesign.”

Workers told ‘not to place some things in writing’

As the minister and also the department strenuously deny the allegations, the union representing the employees is hearing similar tales using their company staff.

Tom Lynch stated the saying “plausible deniability” was becoming more and more common.

“We listen to workers within the system who’re directly contacted and told not saying some things, to not put some things on paper,Inch he stated.

“There’s this idea I keep hearing show up: plausible deniability.”

There has been a large number of recommendations and reviews through the years for the way to repair Tasmania’s child protection system.

Mr Lynch stated the answer was easy.

“You need to place the sources in after which allow the professionals enter and safeguard our kids, since the constant interference, the continual change, the lack of ability to inform the city the simple truth is not serving Tasmania’s children,” he stated.

More about this story:

Topics: child-abuse, family-and-children, child-care, community-and-society, government-and-politics, tas

First published This summer 09, 2017 17:08:57

Childcare charges is going to be ‘too expensive’ under Tasmanian school start plan

Published August 01, 2017 18:16:40

Early school protest Photo: “Day care is going to be from achieve for a lot of families,” warns Lyndon Walsh. (ABC News: David Hudspeth)

Tasmanian childcare provider Discovery Early Learning Centres is threatening to scrap plans for any new center in Bridgewater and it is warning six other centres will close when the Government pushes ahead with changes towards the school beginning age.

Top Of The House will quickly be given the job of picking out the proceed to lower the voluntary school beginning age to 3 . 5, that the Government has trumpeted like a bold proceed to better engage children in education.

Discovery operates 10 centres over the condition, and manager Lyndon Walsh cautioned Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff the program would lead to reduced use of day care.

He stated when the legislation passed, the stop by enrolments would pressure charges to greater than triple.

“Minister Rockliff states he’s attempting to improve use of early education, specifically for individuals in disadvantaged communities, but I will tell you initially hands that isn’t going to take place,Inch Mr Walsh stated.

“Day care will end up too costly and from achieve for a lot of families.”

Mr Walsh stated Discovery’s Bridgewater center would have to increase charges for low-earnings families from $16 each day to $52 each day, in order to even close.

The organization has intends to develop a new center in the region, which may employ 40 people.

“We simply simply will not have the ability to proceed with this,Inch he stated.

Mr Walsh stated the Ravenswood center in Launceston seemed to be earmarked for closure.

No evidence to aid plan, White-colored states

Parents are stressing within the decision of when you should start their children in school.

The Condition Opposition opposes the move, and leader Rebecca White-colored visited the Bridgewater center today.

She stated Labor would turn back changes whether it won government the coming year.

“There’s no evidence to aid decreasing the school beginning age,” Ms White-colored stated.

“We’re wishing greatly the legislation will not be based on top of the House.”

“You want to make certain Legislative Councillors understand the impacts of the policy right over the community.”

Premier Will Hodgman stated he understood the program might have impacts, which was why the federal government had commissioned a study.

He stated it had been a bold plan that aimed to enhance Tasmania’s poor retention rates.

“This is exactly why we are really not hurrying to consider on how forward,” he stated.

“This is an important conversation for the entire community and it might be an emergency to not have the courage to possess that conversation.”

Several MLCs elevated concerns using the plans once the reformed Education Act visited Parliament this past year.

The Government’s compromise was delaying a choice around the school beginning age for any year so a specialist panel could report on their behavior.

That is a result of happen on September 1.

Topics: child-care, family-and-children, community-and-society, government-and-politics, hobart-7000, tas, bridgewater-7030

Labor and Vegetables round on Petrusma under consideration Time

Published August 08, 2017 18:07:34

Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma continues to be made to defend her handling of kid protection matters during Parliament’s first day back following the winter break.

Labor and also the Vegetables used Question Time for you to hammer Ms Petrusma about her portfolio.

Opposition Leader Rebecca White-colored known as around the Serve explain the sudden resignation of Tasmania’s Children’s Commission Mark Morrissey 3 years into his five-year term.

“Have you make any make an effort to convince Mr Morrissey in the role or perhaps is it the situation the enormous political pressure placed on him from your government ‘s the reason he resigned a week ago?Inch Ms White-colored stated.

Ms Petrusma ignored the claim and stated the commissioner didn’t resign from frustration.

“Mr Morrissey has resigned while he is a hard-working public servant for more than 30 years and that he wants to create a lifestyle selection of working part-time,” she stated.

The Opposition and also the Vegetables also frequently requested Ms Petrusma to reply to allegations she fooled Parliament in November this past year following the fallout from the Safe Pathways scandal.

Ms Petrusma denied the allegations.

“I’ll put on the record that I’ve been totally honest in Parliament,” she stated.

“The secretary from the Department of Health insurance and Human Services themself has confirmed that my office was supplied with strong, obvious, verbal advice confirming discussions which had occurred earlier that morning, which all of the children within the proper care of Safe Pathways were safe just before me counseling Parliament during Question Time.”

Safe Pathways review finalised

The Condition Government launched an evaluation in to the for-profit provider in August 2016, as well as in November an ABC’s Four Corners analysis uncovered allegations of neglect.

All 11 children were eventually taken off Safe Pathways’ care.

Ms Petrusma stated a departmental review have been finalised also it found no children within the proper care of Safe Pathways were injured, but administrative non-compliance is discovered.

“I’ve been advised the review suggested terminating the funding agreement between Safe Pathways and also the secretary, which the secretary has recognized this recommendation,” she stated.

Vegetables leader Cassy O’Connor stated it had been obvious changes were urgently required to the state’s child protection system.

“What we should know in the Safe Pathways scandal is the fact that children were placed having a for-profit provider and also the department’s follow-on individuals children was almost non-existent,” she stated.

The report made nine recommendations including mandatory practicing out-of-home-care staff, improved reporting between providers and also the department and the development of reference groups to assist guide responses to issues facing the sphere that the Government has decided to implement.

Ms Petrusma stated since the report involved children legally it couldn’t be produced public.

Topics: government-and-politics, child-care, child-abuse, community-and-society, family-and-children, hobart-7000, tas