A HUNTER-based Department of Family and Community Services case worker has been charged with the sexual abuse of a nine-year-old girl.
Detectives arrested the 54-year-old man this afternoon and took him to Waratah police station where he was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault.
He was refused bail and will face Newcastle bail court tomorrow.
He has also been stood down from his employment with the department.
Community Services Minister Pru Goward said last night she was shocked to learn of the arrest.
The matter was reported to police earlier this week and detectives from the Child Abuse Squad commenced an investigation.
Community Services case workers immediately removed the girl from the man’s partner’s home.
Ms Goward said the department was working closely with police on the investigation into the matter.
The Ombudsman will oversee the investigation.
‘‘The executives of the Department of Family and Community Services understand the strength of my concern about this case,’’ she said.
‘‘I have instructed the chief executive of Community Services to personally keep me updated on this matter.’’
Anyone with information on child abuse should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
Reports can also be made to the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111.