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Abuse bombshell: Families SA head resigns

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The child abuse scandal that derailed the State Government last week took another serious twist today – the Department of Education and Child Development’s deputy chief executive (child safety) has resigned.

In a statement issued this afternoon, David Waterford states he “accidentally provided inaccurate briefings to Child Development Minister Jennifer Rankine because he failed to read a key document”.

In a remarkable development, Waterford – who heads the Families SA division within DECD – claims that when he, SA Police, the Premier and the Education Minister fronted a media conference last Tuesday to reveal a Families SA worker had been charged with abusing seven children, there was ““no consolidated, written briefing in existence on Tuesday 22 July”.

Waterford says in a statement he believes that as a consequence of his lack of adequate briefings, “the minister made certain statements that were inaccurate” and he tendered his resignation as soon as he realised his involvement.

“My briefing of the chief executive and the Minister was from my memory of reading certain source documents,” he said.

On Thursday, two media reports surfaced that the alleged abuser had been the subject of a prior report and investigation.

Education Minister Rankine twice denied that such was the case.

Waterford fell on his sword at 9am on Saturday, but his decision was relayed to departmental staff and media only this afternoon.

More to come

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