Wollongong child protection workers who walked off the job last year after the tragic death of a Berkeley toddler had been "vindicated" by a NSW government decision to report on child deaths with more transparency, the union representing the workers said yesterday.
The NSW Public Service Association also welcomed a decision by Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward to regularly publish child protection caseworker numbers across the sector.
Ms Goward has announced she would publish annual child death reports and analyse the deaths of children known to community services.
PSA assistant secretary Steve Turner said this was a positive step towards improving the transparency and accountability on caseworker vacancy rates.
"Minister Pru Goward has done the right thing in undertaking to release caseworker numbers by the end of the year and the PSA will hold her to this commitment," he said. "It vindicates the tough decision of our caseworkers who held a series of stopwork meetings late last year in a bid to have vacancies filled."
About 50 distraught child protection workers from Coniston's Department of Family and Community Services office walked out last August, blaming understaffing for the death of a two-year-old Berkeley boy who was known to be at risk of harm.
He arrived at Wollongong Hospital unconscious and unable to be saved.
Caseworkers said they had been unable to assign someone to the child's case because of a lack of staff.
Mr Turner said the current vacancy rate at the Coniston office was about 25 per cent.
He urged the minister to ensure the new published data showed accurate and up-to-date numbers, as well as the number of vacancies in specific regions.
Ms Goward said the information would be published by the end of this year.