THE DEPARTMENT | A Shark Island Productions Film

THE DEPARTMENT

THE DEPARTMENT tells a compassionate and intimate story of the lives of workers and families entwined within NSW’s child protection system.

Coming in October 2021

SYNOPSIS

“Child protection is everybody’s business”. It’s the slogan we hear with familiar regularity in community service announcements. Yet the only time the public hears about the system that protects our most vulnerable children is when something goes terribly wrong.

THE DEPARTMENT is a feature documentary which takes us inside the never-before-seen child protection system at work in NSW. Filmed in an observational style, it follows caseworkers across the state as they navigate the complexities of keeping children safe in families experiencing domestic violence, addiction, poverty, mental health issues and intergenerational trauma.

Told through the eyes of the caseworkers, complemented by the authentic voices of the families themselves, each story allows us to explore a different facet of child protection, revealing the complexity, bravery and raw emotion experienced in the lives of these people every day.

A special thank you to:
KATIE, LEANNE, STACEY, DEB, KEIRON, RUSSELL, TYRAH
and their families
 
VALERIE, MEGAN, BRITTNEY, RUTH and HELEN
 
and to the featured DCJ staff
EVA, SHAE, KATH, YVONNE, REZA, ANASTASIA, DANI, MELANIE, KATE J, PAM, ELISE and KATE A

Directed & Filmed by SASCHA ETTINGER EPSTEIN
Produced by MARY MACRAE
Produced by IAN DARLING
Produced by KATE HODGES, MAJHID HEATH and HAYLEY B. JOHNSON
Editors MATHEW EVANS and SALLY FRYER
Composer HELENA CZAJKA
Sound Design WES CHEW
Sound Recordists RICHARD BOXHALL, PHILIP MYERS and SASCHA ETTINGER EPSTEIN
Edit Assistant MEGAN FINLAY
Edit Assistant Placement supported by SBS Diversity Talent Escalator Program
Production Office Manager ALISHA MANNING

SBS Head of Documentaries JOSEPH MAXWELL
Commissioning Editor SUSIE JONES

Post Facility BLUE POST
Colourist JAMIE HEDIGER
Sound by Unison Sound
WES CHEW and LUKE MYNOTT
 
Titles Animation PAUL DUCCO
Title Design RACHEL DIGHT
Website Design RHYS MORRIS

Education and Outreach funding THE CALEDONIA FOUNDATION

With heartfelt thanks to
all the DCJ staff we filmed with at:
SHELLHARBOUR CSC, EASTERN & CENTRAL SYDNEY CSC, MT DRUITT, ST GEORGE, WESTERN NSW DISTRICT CSCs, the HELPLINE and AFTER HOURS RESPONSE TEAM
and the many offices we visited


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