Palaszczuk Government strengthens support for foster and kinship carers

Published Friday, 12 August, 2016 at 09:30 AM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

The Palaszczuk Government is fast-tracking a key reform of the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry by investing more than $4.25 million to better support Queensland’s record number of foster and kinship carers.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said the move will take pressure off Queensland’s hard-working Child Safety Officers by freeing them up to get on with the job of keeping children safe.

Ms Fentiman made the announcement at the Ekka today alongside Foster Care Queensland executive director Bryan Smith.

“We are bringing forward one of the key recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry by transferring the job of recruiting, training and supporting foster and kinship carers to non-government agencies,” she said.

“Community-based organisations already support 75 per cent of foster and kinship carers. This means they have responsibility for identifying and assessing foster and kinship carers, as well as implementing recruitment and retention strategies.

“We will invest an extra $4 million over two years so foster care agencies can take on the job of recruiting and supporting all foster and kinship carers in Queensland.

“This will free up hardworking child safety officers so they can focus on priority tasks such as case management, investigations and assessments, and delivering support to families earlier.”

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government was implementing the Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms to improve child protection in Queensland through initiatives to boost parenting, family support and wellbeing, and to lift health, housing, education and post-care support for children and young people in care.

FCQ executive director Bryan Smith said it was vital foster carers in Queensland had specialist support and training.

"In Queensland more than 5150 volunteer Foster and Kinship Carer families will tonight provide their homes, their hearts and care for some 8000 children and young people who have been removed from environments where their parents have been unable to care for them at home,” he said.

“Without these volunteer families the child protection system would simply collapse.

"Foster Care Queensland strongly supports and welcomes the decision to bring forward the transfer of the remainder of foster and kinship care support to NGOs."

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government will also provide an additional $125,000 per annum to FCQ, as the peak body representing carers, over the next two years to help grow the capacity of foster care services.

"We have a record number of more than 5000 foster and kinship carers in Queensland, but we are always looking for more people who are willing to open their hearts and homes to children in need,” Ms Fentiman said.

"Groups such as Life Without Barriers, Uniting Community Care, Mercy Community Services, Anglicare, Centacare, Key Assets, Foundations Care, Kalwun Foster and Kinship Care, Churches of Christ Care – and many others – do a great job recruiting and supporting foster and kinship carers.

“We want to assist them to do more for these valuable Queenslanders and do better."

Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government was developing a renewed statement of commitment with foster and kinship carers in Queensland.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer should call the Foster Care Recruitment Line on 1300 550 877, visit or, drop into the FCQ stand at the Ekka, or contact one of Queensland's many foster care support agencies direct.

Media contact: 0400 774 303