You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

News Top Stories

Foster carer banned for tying up boy with skipping rope while he squealed 'like a pig'

Sydney Morning Herald logo Sydney Morning Herald 13/08/2017 Stephanie Gardiner

Warning: Some readers may find the content distressing.

The woman applied for a review and last week the Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the decision, finding such physical restraint could have caused the boy harm and injury. © AP Images The woman applied for a review and last week the Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the decision, finding such physical restraint could have caused the boy harm and injury.

A foster carer admitted pulling an eight-year-old boy's hair, tying his hands with a skipping rope, then strapping him to a pole while he was "squealing like a pig".

The woman, who cannot be identified, told a case worker what she did when the boy tried to climb onto a roof at a NSW foster home on March 26, 2015, but insisted she was scared for the child's safety.

"She was adamant that she did not hurt him at any time," the case worker's notes said.

"She said when incidents like this have happened before [and] he has become escalated, he usually walks outside near the gate until it gets either too dark or too cold and then he comes back inside."

Foster care provider Anglicare took four children out of the woman's home the next day, and later stripped her of her carer's authority.

The woman applied for a review and last week the Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the decision, finding such physical restraint could have caused the boy harm and injury.

"This action can be degrading and traumatising for any child," the decision said.

"For children in care, the impacts of such action may be greater due to their own history of abuse, neglect and trauma from previous placements or experiences that brought them into care."

Anglicare's investigation found the woman pulled the boy's hair inadvertently while trying to stop him from climbing, then held him in a bear hug to restrain him, all of which was "not reportable".

The use of the skipping rope was far more serious, and unjustified in the circumstances, the charity agency found.

The woman criticised Anglicare's investigation, saying she earlier reported the boy for becoming "out of control aggressive" and hurting animals, but did not receive any support.

She also complained the investigators planned to ban her early on, and didn't speak to any witnesses, including the boy or the other children in her care.

The tribunal found the woman genuinely cared for foster children, and noted she reported the skipping rope incident herself.

"The Tribunal also acknowledges that many children in care present multiple and complex needs and being a foster carer can be an extremely difficult and challenging role.

"However, the paramount concern of this Tribunal is the safety and welfare of the children in care."

More from Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon