‘Death of neglect’: South Australian girl Charlie’s family known to government agencies

The family of a six-year-old girl who died of alleged neglect had contact with a number of South Australian government agencies, including the police, before her death, authorities have confirmed.

Police have set up a task force to investigate the death of Charlie, who was found unconscious in a house in the suburb of Munno Para on Friday.

She died shortly after arriving at the hospital, her death was ruled a major felony and treated as a case of criminal negligence.

A number of other children between the ages of 7 and 16 were also removed from the home.

Deputy Police Commissioner Linda Williams said a range of government agencies interacted with the family and the extent of those interactions will be part of the investigation.

Camera iconCharlie – one of five siblings aged eight, 10, 13, 14 and 15 – was rushed to Lyell McEwin Hospital by paramedics, where she died shortly after arriving. Credit: Unknown/Provided

Dep Comm Williams said police would allocate all necessary resources to determine what happened and whether charges would be laid.

“We want to understand what happened to Charlie and how she ended up in the circumstances,” Dep Comm Williams said.

“Anyone’s death is tragic, but the death of a young child, a six-year-old girl, obviously has everyone worried about how it happened.”

The deputy commissioner said conditions in the home were described as poor, but could not give details.

Acting Prime Minister Susan Close said that in immediate response to the case, the government had ordered a review of interactions between government agencies and the family over the past two years.

“The review will encompass the timeline of services provided and agencies engaged,” Ms Close said.

“It is important not to prejudge what this review will find.

“What we need to do is follow the process and ask what interactions happened, could they have been different and are there lessons to be learned.”

Ashley C. Reynolds