Child protection whistleblower felt 'intimidated'
Katrina Bolton and Eleni Roussos, ABC
November 9, 2010, 1:36 pm
Australia- A whistleblower who exposed failings in the Northern Territory Child Protection system says she was threatened with disciplinary action when she tried to raise concerns.
Susan Mansfield, a social worker at the Royal Darwin Hospital last year, says her notifications about pregnant 12-year-olds and drug-affected parents kept being brushed aside.
An independent child protection inquiry has since documented dangerous failings with how warnings were dealt with, including a backlog of nearly 1,000 cases.
Ms Mansfield says when she raised her concerns with the Children's Commissioner, the Health Department threatened her job.
"Upper management made me feel intimidated and like I had done the wrong thing and there was a verbal threat of disciplinary action," she said.
"So you're made to feel like you're doing the wrong thing."
Northern Territory ombudsman Carolyn Richards says Ms Mansfield has been incredibly brave.
"She was subjected to a shut-out," Ms Richards said.
"Every email she sent to the child protection service would be re-routed back via the head of the child protection service, through the general manager of the hospital, through to her immediate superior.
"And she was told that she was not to make reports other than with the approval of her superiors." FULL STORY
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