A three-month-old baby subject to a Child Safety Service open notification died before caseworkers checked its welfare, it has been revealed.
The Examiner understands the death is unrelated to the notification, but it is impossible to know what intervention or prevention a follow up could have had.
Health professionals, teachers and police are among those legally bound to report concerns for welfare to the service, but open notifications can also be reported by the community, family and friends.
Tasmania Police confirmed they responded to a report of a sudden death of a baby in Launceston on December 30.
After the baby’s death, Child Safety management visited staff in the Launceston office on January 2. The Examiner understands staff were told not to speak publicly about the baby’s death.
Human Services Minister Roger Jaensch said the death of any child was a tragedy.
“Our thoughts are with the child’s parents and family at this very sad time,” he said.
“As this matter is before the Coroner, I am unable to comment further on the circumstances of this case.”
An internal review of the case is being conducted by Child Safety Service and a report is being prepared for the Coroner.
A Communities Tasmania spokesman said it would be inappropriate to pre-empt or comment on the findings of those processes.
“Significant improvements to the child safety system are currently being implemented through the Strong Families, Safe Kids reforms, which are designed to provide earlier intervention and better outcomes for at-risk children and their families,” the spokesman said.
The state government is investing an additional $24 million over four years to employ up to 25 Child Safety officers and other frontline staff.
The spokesman said there were no priority one cases yet to be allocated in the state.
“As per policy, investigations into priority one cases always commence on the same day.”