A three-month old baby died in her cot despite repeated warnings to child services over suspected neglect from her drug addicted mother.
The Coroner’s Court in Sydney was told about the harrowing case as the New South Wales Family and Community Services admitted it had let her down.
The department’s shock admission came as the inquest into the deaths of baby BLGN and her 19-day old sister opened on Monday.
The government was aware of the situation with baby BLGN including the concerns over her ‘ice-addicted mother’, Nine News reports.
The court was told when the baby girl was found dead in her cot in April 2014, there was an ice-pipe above the baby’s bottle warmer and her mother seemed ‘dazed’.
Police who visited the Oxley Park home in western Sydney said her grandmother also ‘appeared to be on something’ and the baby’s older siblings were ‘dirty and hungry’, according to the Nine report.
The coroner was told the family had been well known to the government department since 2010 – four years before baby BLGN’s death.
But the court heard their case was closed by the department because of ‘competing priorities’ and had known drugs were being used in front of the children at the family home.
The day before the baby’s tragic death, the department was told a lack of action would lead to there being blood being left on its hands.
Sadly, this turned out to be the case with BLGN who died the very next day.
The inquest is also looking into the death of her baby sister, who passed away in her sleep little over a year later.
She was just 19-days-old and died under the care of social services after being taken away from her mother already.
The department’s own counsel told the coroner the events surrounding her death amounted to ‘a litany of mistakes and in some cases incompetency’.
Meanwhile, the case has raised questions from the opposition about the government’s abilities.
Tanya Mihalik, the shadow families minister, pointed to the case as highlighting the ‘shortcomings and failings’ in its child protection responsibilities, she told Nine.
The inquest is due to continue for the rest of the week at the State Coroner’s Court in Glebe.