New Townsville after care services taking the next step

Published Monday, 30 March, 2015 at 02:38 PM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Young people from North Queensland who are leaving the child protection system can now be confident in their next step in life with new after-care services up and running in Townsville.

 Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman dropped in on the new service, called Next Step, in Garbutt today.

 The new services run by Life Without Barriers in North Queensland mark the first time that targeted post-care support will be available for young people up to the age of 21 years.

 “Young people leaving the care system often need somewhere to turn to for support and help as they transition to independent adult life,” Ms Fentiman said.

 “I am happy to announce that North Queensland’s young people will now have ways of accessing support as and when they need.”

 Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O'Rourke said it was important that young people leaving care were supported to help them deal with the challenges of becoming independent adults.

 “For many of them, they don’t have the formal family structures to help ease them into adulthood and to some it can be overwhelming making those tough life decisions,” she said.

 “Our young people can now get support in how to get a job, find accommodation, improve their living skills and get access to more education opportunities.

 “There will be multiple ways for them to get support, because we know that no one size fits all situations.  We need to provide multiple channels for young people to be comfortable seeking support.”

 About 500 young people a year in Queensland transition from care and there are a further 1500 who are under 21 who have already transitioned.

 Ms Fentiman said Queensland can do better in supporting young people as they move from foster homes and other out of home care into the wider world.

 “We have to do more to help these young people have the same opportunities as others in our communities,” she said.

 “This issue was recognised in the Carmody Report on Child Protection and I’m determined to make sure these new after-care services hit the right mark in giving everyone the chance to reach their full potential.

 “With the help of Life Without Barriers, Uniting Care Community and CREATE Foundation, we want to connect with each and every one of these young people as they begin their independence,” she said.

 The services will offer a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week phone number for young people to call with whatever problem. They can also use social media, sms and email to access or promote the services.

 Throughout Queensland services are being provided by:

  • Life Without Barriers in North Queensland, Central Queensland (excluding South Burnett), Brisbane, South West Queensland and South East Queensland
  • South Burnett CTC in South Burnett, with a strong cultural focus
  • Integrated Family and Youth Services will deliver after-care services in the North Coast
  • Youth Empowered Towards Independence, in partnership with Youth Link in Far North Queensland (including Cairns, Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait Islands).

 Funding of $2.5 million has been provided in this financial year to these organisations to provide after-care services that support young people transitioning from out-of-home care to independence.

For more information about the new after-care support services go to



Media Contact: Minister Fentiman’s office                           3719 7500