Chloe’s case a study in failures of state care system

Chloe’s case a study in failures of state care system, by Caroline Overington.

Her name has been changed but her wretched circumstances will forever be on the court record: Chloe was just eight years old when she started viewing pornography on her mother’s phone; nine when she started drawing erect penises on her bedroom wall; 11 when she made the first video of her sister in the shower and posted it to YouTube; not yet 12 when she created a social media site for men to comment on her pictures; and still only 12 when she first tried to commit suicide.

Chloe isn’t a child prostitute in an impoverished ­country. She is a primary school student, living with her mother and two siblings in a three-bedroom home in Sydney’s western suburbs. …

Chloe’s mother is a chronic gambler, with an addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis. She already had adult children from an earlier relationship, one of whom is addicted to ice, and she would often drop Chloe and her siblings at their house, or else in the care of sexual ­predators while she went gambling. …

Welfare workers considered whether to remove Chloe, but because she and her siblings were indigenous, this was considered a last resort, and so they stayed put, even as the years wore on, and she started wagging school and roaming the streets, unsupervised, at night.

Read it all. A sad tale that does however hold out some hope at the end.

hat-tip Stephen Neil