Queensland Government welcomes support for foster carers
Published Friday, 01 June, 2018 at 04:28 PM
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer
The Queensland Government has joined with other States and Territories to seek the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to better support foster and kinship carers across the country.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer attended the meeting of State, Territory and Commonwealth Government counterparts in Canberra today to discuss issues around child safety.
“Carers’ concerns over difficulties accessing support, especially through Centrelink, were raised by carers with me, and I put those concerns directly to the Commonwealth today,” Ms Farmer said.
“Our foster and kinship carers open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children.
“Just as we are doing with State supports, we want to see eligibility and access to Commonwealth supports and payments made as easy as possible for carers. We need to see red tape reduced.
“I was pleased to see the Commonwealth commit to work together and consider how to make it easier for carers and I look forward to seeing them deliver.” she said.
Ministers also discussed national priorities for the next two years to implement the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.
Ms Farmer said the Queensland Government was committed to making sure all children faced a bright future including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, who were grossly overrepresented in the child protection system.
“I want to reaffirm that we are absolutely committed to the Child Placement Principle for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” she said.
“We want all children in Queensland to have the same hope and opportunity of a healthy and happy life.
“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is committed to the 20-year Our Way Strategy and to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that each child can reach their full potential and thrive.
“We know we can’t keep doing the same things governments have done for decades and expect the outcome for these families to be different.
“We are committed to finding a better way to protect these children and help these families.
“We want to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents to make sure children grow up safe and cared for surrounded by a loving family, community and culture.”
Ms Farmer said reforms to Queensland’s Child Protection Act will improve planning for reunification or for other permanent arrangements for children who could not live safely with their birth families.
“This means stable living arrangements, strong relationships with significant people in their lives, and secure legal arrangements for their care,” Ms Farmer said.
“Under our new Permanent Care Orders, children in long-term care will be able to find their loving forever homes sooner, without severing all ties to their birth families in the way that traditional adoption often does.”
“This means the child will remain with their care family until they are 18 and provides similar certainty as adoption, without severing the child from their legal identity or cutting off all ties to their extended family.”
The new orders will come in to effect later this year.
Media Contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920