Specialist carers enlisted for children with complex needs

Published Friday, 27 July, 2018 at 01:00 PM

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer

A $2.7 million trial of specialist foster carers for children with complex and challenging behaviours will place its first child in September.

Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the two-year intensive support trial based on a highly successful overseas model aimed to help children aged under 12 overcome significant trauma and go on to a bright future.

“These specialist carers will care for children with complex or extreme needs,” Ms Farmer said.

“Their behaviour often makes it difficult for them to live in a family-based care setting.

“For example, the children may have outbursts of aggressive or violent behaviour.

“Or they may find it hard to make and keep friendships with other children and are often disengaged from school and community connections because of it.”

Ms Farmer said the Treatment Foster Care Oregon program was an internationally proven behaviour modification model that provided intensive support to children, carers and birth families over a 9-12 month period.

It offers comprehensive training, guidance and support before and throughout the program and has a 70 per cent success rate of settling children back into a stable familyenvironment.”

The trial will be conducted in the South West region of the state by OzChild, a specialist organisation with experience implementing the program.

“Ozchild began recruitment last month (June) for at least 10 carers living within an hour radius of Toowoomba and Ipswich,” Ms Farmer said.

“These carers will work with a professional support team including family and child therapists, skills coaches and a teacher to deliver the structured program.”

Ms Farmer general or even intensive family-based care arrangements are not always able to meet the needs of children acting out with the most extreme behaviours.

“This new program aims to provide stable, supportive family environments for children and young people with very complex needs,” Ms Farmer said.

“We know the best place for children and young people coming into care is a family environment. We want to make that a reality for all children, no matter their level of need.

“This is about ensuring children are given a chance to overcome hurdles from their childhood.”

Ms Farmer said the Queensland Government was working hard to strengthen the child protection system.

“We are making real progress in our efforts to address the needs of children at risk of harm,” she said.

“All children, no matter the challenges they face, deserve the same hope and opportunity that we would want for our own children.”


Media Contact:         Ron Goodman       0427 781 920