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Another SA carer arrested over abuse

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016 Tim Dornin

Another review of South Australia's scandal-plagued child protection system has been ordered after the arrest of a residential care worker who has been accused of abusing young children.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close confirmed the arrest of the man and says while she can't comment on the individual case an independent legal firm has been engaged to look into the department's employment and screening processes.

The man was believed to have been among 25 carers "red-flagged" and suspended for a time after a 2014 inquiry into the children protection system but, along with several others, later cleared and allowed to return to work.

The arrest comes just months after a royal commission into child protection in South Australia declared the system was in crisis and called for sweeping changes.

That inquiry was launched following the horrific crimes of Families SA child care worker Shannon McCoole who is serving a 35-year sentence for abusing several children in his care and for also operating a global child pornography website.

Ms Close said as soon as the man at the centre of the most recent allegations was arrested on Saturday he was directed away from the workplace.

She said the department was co-operating fully with the police investigation and was also working to contact the families of the alleged victims.

"Given the allegations that have been made, we have undertaken a review of our employment practices. That review is ongoing," the minister told reporters on Sunday.

Police said the Barossa man aged in his 30s was charged with two counts of aggravated indecent assault and two counts of persistent exploitation of a child.

He was refused police bail and will appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Monday.

The latest arrest also comes after a significant revamp in the wake of the royal commission with the state government establishing a new child protection department, separate from education.

The department's recently appointed chief executive Cathy Taylor said she was "tragically disappointed" by the new developments.

"Any suggestion that a child had been harmed, that's the most concerning aspect," she said.

She said the department would be looking at whatever steps should be taken but could not pre-empt the results of the external review.

Asked of what confidence she could offer to parents about the safety of their children under the current protection regime, Ms Close said she could never give complete assurances.

"There are predators in our community. We all need to be as scrupulous and as vigilant as possible," she said.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall called for Premier Jay Weatherill to resign over the latest issue and for the appointment of a new dedicated minister for child protection.

"Enough is enough. It's time for Jay Weatherill to stand down as the premier of South Australia," Mr Marshall said.

"He is the one who designed the child protection (system) which has so catastrophically failed the children of South Australia.

'We don't want any more reports, enquiries, representations or royal commissions. We need action and that starts with new leadership."

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