Heartbreak as mum pines for her kids
The pain of being denied visits to see her children has become too much for a Townsville mother who is "not coping" with strong COVID-19 restrictions that could deprive her of their hugs for months.
The mother, who cannot be named to protect herself and her children, was shattered when she learned her triweekly visits to see her two children would be stripped from her by the Department of Child Safety in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Future changes were announced in a statement by director-general Deidre Mulkerin on Friday and come as the Federal Government tightens public gatherings to no more than two people, urging residents to stay at home where possible.
In the statement to parents, Ms Mulkerin said there would be "unavoidable impacts" as a result of COVID-19 and the department was planning to ensure the support of children and young people in their care
Given supervised parental visits are often conducted in public, the new measures were set to adhere to the new laws.
The distraught mother was told about the new measures three days after what was her last visit to her children since they were taken by the state more than a year ago.
She told the Townsville Bulletin she would not be able to see them for at least three months.
The woman has been a victim of long-term domestic violence and abuse.
She has since turned her life around and thanked the department for its part, but said the pain of not seeing her children was daunting.
"I'm trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am doing everything I can," she said.
"Women who have been through domestic violence should not be bullied into a corner."
The woman said the department had offered her weekly Skype calls with her children instead of visits.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Child Safety confirmed this was an option for parents, saying it was assessing each case differently and digital platforms were an option for communication.
Only in "exceptional circumstances" would the department allow "face-to-face" contact to continue if it was critical for the child's wellbeing.
The spokeswoman said staff would consult parents personally.
Originally published as Heartbreak as mum pines for her kids