$406 million for landmark child protection reforms

Published Sunday, 01 June, 2014 at 05:00 AM


The Honourable Campbell Newman

Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
The Honourable Tracy Davis

Vulnerable Queensland families will receive more support than ever, with $406 million over five years going to family services and better child protection in this year’s State Budget.

Premier Campbell Newman said the funding would implement the Government’s response to recommendations from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, which was promised at the election.

“This funding will allow us to overhaul the child protection system and help make Queensland the safest place in Australia to raise a child,” Mr Newman said.

“Among the changes, there will be more referral services, funding to support families care for their children at home instead of out-of-home care and improved support for indigenous families.

“We announced the Inquiry prior to the election, to address a system that was clearly failing under the former Labor government.

“We quickly moved to deliver on that promise and are now committing record funds and a strong plan to ensure Queensland’s most vulnerable have a brighter future.

“The funds will go towards keeping families together, with more prevention and early intervention services, as recommended by Commissioner Tim Carmody QC in his final report Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection.

“We promised at the election to revitalise frontline services and that’s exactly what we are doing.

“Because we have carefully managed the State’s finances, we’ve been able to provide $406 million over the next five years to support family services and improve child protection.”

Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis said the $406 million would begin to be rolled out from next financial year with almost $25 million allocated to Child Safety Services to start implementing the reforms.

“Labor created a child protection system that was overburdened and unsustainable,” Ms Davis said.

“The Newman Government will revitalise frontline child safety services, by delivering new family support services to target vulnerable families, as well as reforming the child protection system, and shifting the focus to keeping children at home wherever possible.”

In the 2014–15 financial year $25 million will include:

  •          $2.9 million to implement new community based intake and referral services in the first six locations across the state
  •          $6.5 million to increase secondary family support services targeting vulnerable families with multiple and complex needs
  •          $3 million to develop and implement a new Child Protection Practice Framework for frontline child protection staff to better support families to care for their children at home and avoid out-of-home care
  •          $2.5 million to improve the support for young people transitioning from out-of-home care to independence, including targeted post-care support up to the age of 21 years
  •          $1.5 million to work with key partners to reform Indigenous family support services and $1.4 million for culturally appropriate child protection practice.

In addition to the $25 million, funding of $6.5 million will go towards employing more than 70 Child Safety officers to address workloads and assist in the vital reform work.

“Parents should be able to care for their own children at home safely, with early intervention services and support easily accessible for those families who need it,” Ms Davis said.

“However, we acknowledge that in some instances this isn’t possible, so we will also continue to support children in out-of-home care to achieve their full potential.”

The Queensland Government accepted the 121 recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, including six accepted in principle

More information about the Government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Final Report is available at: www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-and-renewal/child-and-family-reforms

[ENDS] 1 June 2014

Media Contact Premier’s Office – 3719 7000

                        Minister Davis – Katherine Fraser 0417 172 480