Boy raped while is custody of DOCS
By Gemma Jones
May 28, 2009 12:00am
A YOUNG boy was raped and abused by a foster carer after DOCS failed to act on a father's warning that his son was being invited into the pervert's bedroom at night.
DOCS' shame will be complete tomorrow when the paedophile foster carer, who cannot be named because of a suppression order, is sentenced in the Downing Centre District Court for having sex with a child under the age of 10 years and two counts of assault with an act of indecency on a child.
It is all too late for the father, from St Ives, who first wrote to the Department of Community Services on September 26, 2006, almost 18 months before the paedophile foster carer was arrested.
"DOCS enabled one of its own foster carers to rape a child," the angry father told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
"My son has lost his confidence. The world troubles him. He is afraid of people around him."
Editorial: DOCS in the dock again
DOCS director-general Jenny Mason was forced to apologise to the boy's father yesterday and Community Services Minister Linda Burney admitted she only learned of the case when told by The Daily Telegraph.
In a letter sent in 2006, when his son was just seven years old, the father wrote to the department: "(My son) has told me that he sleeps in (the foster carer's) room.
"I find this very strange and of great concern. (My son) has told me that (the carer) has been buying him gifts and toys and taking him on outings to the park and internet cafes. My prime concern is the safety and welfare of (my son) and request you take all steps necessary and possible to investigate these concerns."
He said yesterday a DOCS worker called him and assured him there was no reason for concern because the man in question was a "registered DOCS carer".
The man continued caring for his own two sons and the foster son given to him by the department and through a private arrangement he said his former wife had made.
Most of the abuse took place after the letter was sent and it only stopped when the boy confided in his father early in 2008 and the DOCS carer was immediately investigated by Dee Why police.
After learning of the case late last week, Ms Burney ordered the chief of her department to meet with the father to apologise.
"The outcomes of recent criminal proceedings have shown that in hindsight the concerns raised by the child's father could have been dealt with differently," she said.
The father met with Ms Mason yesterday and said he was assured there had been a change in procedures to prevent another child suffering like his son.
DOCS said in a statement last night staff were "deeply sorry for the pain and suffering experienced by both the child and his family as a result of the sexual abuse".
A spokeswoman confirmed measures had been taken "to improve the consistency and timeliness of investigations of allegations against foster carers"
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