The Northern Territory news Tue 30 Sep 2014
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
06 NEWS TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 30 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Battling to keep kids safe CHILD abuse reports spiked an alarming 29 per cent last financial year as the Department of Children and Families struggles to retain ambitious and burnt-out case workers to handle the load. The NT Government received 12,940 reports and conducted 4900 investigations into alleged abuse in 2013-14, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard. The departments out of home care boss Simone Jackson said: Were all shocked and trying to work with that increase. At June 30 this year, 932 children were in out of home care, 522 of them in foster or kinship care, but only 40-60 per cent were having meaningful face-to-face contact with a case worker once a month. She said geographic and weather constraints made monthly visits hard but all children were visited bi-monthly the Australian standard. Ms Jackson conceded the Territory had the countrys worst record in its ability to put Aboriginal children with Aboriginal carers, when confronted with a document from her own department, putting the failure down to stringent screening of the adults that children were allowed to live with. But Ms Jackson said some carers let unvetted adults live in the same house as children in care, which wasnt discovered until home visits. Then the carers motivation is reviewed, she said. We hope they tell us and understand many are not. Without (a case worker) sitting in every home, its a risk. DCF has about 100 Aboriginal employees. ELLIE TURNER Dr Marcus Ilton with patient Luk Taodang, who recently had an angioplasty at Royal Darwin Hospital Picture: HELEN ORR MORE than 60 patients have benefited since the Royal Darwin Hospital has introduced coronary angioplasty operations, but the citys cardiac services still lag behind the rest of Australia, a leading heart surgeon says. The service started in February and means people who would have normally had to travel interstate for the surgery have been able to stay in the Territory. The procedure entails inserting a stent into a narrowed heart artery to prop it open. Access to the heart is gained through the wrist, and patients are usually released the next day. Head of RDH cardiology Dr Marcus Ilton said although the funding to provide the service was a big step, more needed to be done to catch up to the rest of Australia. He said RDH still did not have the capacity to perform emergency angioplasties, and further developments depended on more funding. Darwin man Luk Taodang had the surgery only five days ago and said he was glad he could have it in Darwin. Patients heartened by cardiac service
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