Domestic Violence Leave will help those affected find independence.
It is no surprise that a career in Child Protection has made Becky Anderson passionate about the need for Family and Domestic Violence Leave, but her own story is just as important.
Becky Anderson is a Team Leader at the Department for Child Protection and Family Support. Having previously led a team in the now-abolished Responsible Parenting Service, Becky now leads a team of dedicated case workers in Early Intervention and Family Support as well as a specialist team of Leaving Care Services officers.
Becky’s job is characterised by long hours, round-the-clock dedication to the kids in her care and emotionally taxing situations that would push most people to breaking point and beyond.
"If Crisis Care has left messages overnight or a young person has been texting me during the night, the days can start very early," says Becky.
"Some nights we won't finish until well after regular office hours for the same reasons; like when crisis care has been given a proper handover or perhaps when a young person has finally decided that they're okay and can safely go to bed."
But as hard as it can be, Becky loves her job and the difference child protection workers can make in a young person's life.
"There is a girl that is celebrating a big birthday in a couple of weeks and she has asked me to help her plan her party because she doesn't have anyone else."
"Twelve months ago she was bouncing between placements. Her mother wasn't talking to her, her sister didn't want a bar of her and nor did her father."
"Now she at least has a plan to spend her birthday with friends and her some of her family — she is excited and looking forward to it. Occasions like this that make it worth coming to work every day."
"It makes me really sad that the Department is in the state that it is in because I actually love the work we do and I just wish we had the support of government to do it properly."
Having worked in the Responsible Parenting unit Becky knows first-hand the effects funding cuts, hiring freezes and efficiency dividends have had on the Department.
Her passion is driven not only by her compassion for the children in her care but by a desire to see her colleagues thriving and getting the best possible outcomes that they can.
Becky knows that her Union Agreement will play a key role in that restoration; not only for her Department, but the whole public sector.
In addition to the protection of their existing working conditions and entitlements, it is the introduction and improvement of some new clauses that have struck Becky the most.
"I think family and domestic violence leave is just so important."
"Working in Child Protection we see parents and children who struggle in and out of family and domestic violence situations every day."
For myself, witnessing what my Mum had to go through whilst working full time, makes it even more important."
"Leave would have meant that we didn't need to stay as long — we could have just packed up and gone."
"She wouldn't have had to leave work to be discreetly packing from 4 and stopping at 5 when he got home."
"She could have just gone back to work and not had to lie about where she had been, not had to continue to lie when she had bruises."
"Family and domestic violence leave will help people in these situations get security and independence — to get away."
Becky has put her hand up to champion the CPSU/CSA's claim for the inclusion of Family and Domestic Violence Leave in her Union Agreement claim. Joined by President and White Ribbon Ambassador, Brian Dodds, and thousands of other public servants in WA, it will be a clause worth fighting for.
To check out the full claim, visit the Your Union Agreement campaign here.