Average wait times blow out for child abuse hotline

Average wait times blow out on Child Abuse Hotline in South Australia

Child abuse hotline suffers horrendous wait times

We reported on a story earlier this year when South Australia’s Child Protection Minister Susan Close declared that, in what can only be described as a stunning response, Abandoned Calls on a child abuse hotline was not really a concern as “most callers would call back anyway”

Let’s just be clear here on a definition – Abandoned calls are when people hung up/disconnected after failing to get through to a live call centre operator typically from having to wait too long.

Well, the Adelaide Advertiser is today reporting that the Average Wait time to get through to Families SA call centre has now blown out to more than an hour!

The average wait time is now 62 minutes, up from 10 minutes in mid – 2012.

In their most recent report (August 2016) the Families SA report revealed that of the 6,448 calls made to the call centre, only 3,365 were answered (52.18%).

Whilst the contact centre receives a lot of ‘mandatory calls’ from teachers, doctors and police, it’s quite sickening to think that a person trying to report child abuse could be subjected to over a one-hour wait.

And even if those calls could be prioritised, I’m fairly sure that our doctors, teachers and police have more important tasks to complete.

Opposition child protection spokeswoman Rachel Sanderson said South Australians could no longer “trust a government that repeatedly claims it is fixing the system when all the statistics continue to demonstrate the situation is actually getting worse”.

“It is completely unacceptable for individuals to be waiting more an hour to report suspected child abuse,” she said.

“How many people hang up and don’t report their suspicions because they don’t have an hour to wait?”

Let’s just hope they can get their shit sorted as quite simply it’s not good enough for potential callers, or the poor staff who no doubt wear the frustration of each and every customer.

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