In December of 2014, the inquest into the
death of Chloe continued. It was reported that in six years, Families
SA had ten Supervisors because the stress of the job was too much.
Chloe had been the subject of more than 20 complaints to Families SA
before she died. Ms. Tara Liston had visited with Chloe's mother in
August of 2011 which was two months after Joy Rann had reported the
abuse of Chloe, abuse reports are supposed to be followed up on within
ten days of the complaints being made. Tara Liston said that Chloe's
case was not as bad as other she had seen:
"In comparison to other
cases, when you read it, there some things that Ashlee
did well and there were
other times she didn't. It would be a case that not as
significant as other
cases. Chloe was clean, she had really curly hair, there was
a washing machine
going, Chloe and Ashlee engaged really well, there was no
fear, we look in the
cupboards and fridge and this was an unannounced visit and
they were well stocked
with fresh food. Chloe's room ahd curtains and linen and
a bed, which is always
a bonus with our families. It wasn't what we'd look at in
middle class society
and say "it was okay", but in child protection, it appeared
to myself to be okay"
Tara was asked if she would to anything differently if she were able to
do things over. Through tears she answered:
"Would I do anything
differently? I don't know, but given what happened there is
always a question. I
always question that. It appeared that things were picking
up, compared to
previous visits by other Social Workers. She appeared clean.
Ashlee appeared clean
as well. She didn't appear to be scared or neglect. She
was happy and laughing"
Tara said that on the way to the home visit she had spoken with a
manager of the respite program, Time 4 Kids, this was a conversation
with someone other than Joy Rann, but had never actually spoken to Joy
and admitted that she probably should have spoken to Joy:
"I guess I just thought
the manager would be overseeing the program and it would be more
professional to talk to
Tara spoke to the Inquest about a document that Coroner Mark Johns and
Counsel Assisting Naomi Kereru did not have. Mark. Johns questioned why
Families SA had not provided the document and said he was considering
asking the Police to investigate Families SA for not complying with a
court order that said they were responsible to provide all documents
related to Chloe's death. Realizing that they did not have all of the
documentation they were entitled to, Mr. Johns said they would have to
do the best they could without the missing documents.
Tara said that she had seen the document on a computer, but that the
system it was on was hard to navigate. During the inquest it came up
that Ashlee had posted on her Facebook wall that she had passed out at
one point and left Chloe alone for at least five hours with no one
watching her. Tara said that in 2011, Families SA didn't allow their
staff to use Facebook, but that had changed in 2012 and supervisors
were allowed to use Facebook if it was necessary.
Wrapping up for the time it was said that
the Social Workers made a decision to leave Chloe in a rat infested
house with her drunk, drug using mother and they ignored signs that the
child was in danger. Former SA director Anthony Kemp said in truth,
they had used "the premature cessation of search" which put in simple
terms mean they had stopped looking. Anthony said that the case
was mishandled and that Chloe should have been removed from the home
within weeks of her birth. The staff had protected Ashlee instead of
looking out for Chloe.
The inquest was set to continue in February of 2015.
Site creators note: In
looking at the pictures of Chloe, I am wondering if I am the only one
who seems to think this child looks worried, even in the pictures where
she looks happy.