Minutes reveal boy's official neglect

OFFICIALS from the former families department admitted to a woman seeking custody of her grandson that ``inadequate action'' had been taken to protect the boy.
The woman complained to the department for seven years that her daughter, the mother of three boys, was a drug addict and prostitute who could not care for the children.
She cited several examples of neglect including her daughter leaving the children in the care of a receptionist at a Coffs Harbour brothel while she serviced clients.
Four years ago the youngest child, aged six months, was found dead on a urine-soaked mattress in premises on the Gold Coast.
The father of the second boy obtained permanent custody through a Family Court order, and the grandmother has been fighting for guardianship of the oldest boy, now aged eight.
Official minutes of a meeting held on February 24 show that the woman met in Brisbane with three senior departmental officials, including case officer Lyn Blackburn.
The minutes reveal the grandmother complained about the response she received when she contacted Crisis Care last August.
The records state: ``(She) felt Crisis Care did not demonstrate an appreciation of the previous history and the seriousness of her grandson's situation. She states Crisis Care rang her the next day and advised to take action in the Family Law Court''.
The document also said the grandmother wanted to know why decisive action had not been taken to protect her grandson at a number of times during the last seven years.
She was advised a review of the case indicated a history of poor assessment and inadequate action being taken to ensure the boy's safety.
``The intention is to address the systems issues so that this experience does not occur to another family,'' the minutes said.
The grandmother contacted the Crime and Misconduct Commission last November 14 seeking help. On February 24, CMC assistant commissioner Stephen Lambrides responded by saying the CMC considered it would be ``an unjustifiable use of resources'' to pursue the case.