Child protection agency head quits over mistakes


The executive director of Families SA falls on his sword over a child protection bungle. Julianne Riedstra is a temporary replacement.

David Waterford, the head of Families SA and deputy chief executive at the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, has resigned following his admission yesterday that he inadvertently misled the government.

The case of an unnamed Families SA worker who has been charged with sexually abusing children in his care caught the government unaware, despite the accused being flagged for “care concern” following a pervious allegation.

Waterford admitted he re-read the accused worker’s file after briefing the government that there was no previous indications of risk. Waterford explained the discrepancy in a written statement yesterday:

“With regard to one of those documents, revisiting it caused me to remember that I had only skimmed it and on Friday night I quickly came to the realisation that I had misinterpreted information on one page because I had not read another critical section.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.