Shocking email reveals carers have no control over kids
A youth care company that operates near the location of a chroming scandal previously told a Mt Louisa resident that carers had no control over juveniles after a threatening incident.
Catalyst Child and Family Services Townsville refused to answer questions from the Bulletin yesterday after a woman, believed to be a carer, was photographed this week standing by in a park while a 15-year-old chromed.
It can be revealed a male carer from the company was subject to criticism from a concerned resident who made a complaint to the firm about juveniles roaming around nearby park areas.
The carer, who claimed to work for the company, told the resident the youths were "traumatised" when he confronted them about their "threatening" behaviour around his suburb, which included antagonising pets, making crude remarks and "unerringly" disturbing residents.
The Bulletin obtained an email reply from company CEO Laurel Downey that said the carers had no control over what juveniles in their care did.
"We are not able to restrict their movements and we cannot stop them from leaving our residence or moving about in the community," the email read.
Ms Downey said the company took the issues seriously and had asked carers not to go to the Mt Louisa park, but were constrained by the Department of Child Safety.
On Tuesday, a carer was photographed at the park with a boy in school uniform who was chroming.
A neighbouring father couldn't believe his eyes and grabbed his camera to capture the events unfolding in front of him.
The woman sat on her phone while the teenager, dressed in a school uniform, chromed just 1m away from her on a park bench.
They stayed at the park for three hours until an ambulance was called at 8.30pm to assess to boy.
Ms Downey refused to answer any questions from the Bulletin, saying she was bound by "confidentiality clauses".
A spokesman from the Department of Education said carers and parents have responsibility for their children outside school hours.
He said Queensland schools teach children the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs, but did not disclose whether the impacts of chroming were addressed.
Heatley Secondary College had a score of support programs in place and said it would work with authorities to address student health and wellbeing.