Greater say for young people in care
Published Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 at 06:33 PM
Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard
Changes passed in Queensland parliament today will amplify the voices of children and young people in decisions that affect them.
Minister for Children Leanne Linard said the Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 would:
- strengthen the Act to ensure children will be genuinely empowered and supported to participate in decisions about their lives within the child protection system;
reinforce children’s rights in the legislative framework;
- strengthen children’s voices in decisions that affect them;
- amend the definition of kin so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can be placed with people who are regarded as kin if they have a legitimate cultural connection to the child; and
- streamline, clarify and improve the regulation of care.
Ms Linard said the changes added to extensive work that had already been undertaken to strengthen Queensland’s child protection system.
“We are now over half-way through the 10-year Supporting Families Changing Futures reform program and have delivered significant reforms,” she said.
“This includes investing $1.24 billion in new Child and Family Services funding since 2015, including funding 693 new staff to 30 June 2022.
“And the 2021-22 budget includes more than $11.1 million in new investment to employ an extra 154 frontline Child and Family Services workers - including 105 child safety officers, 18 Senior Team Leaders, 18 Child Safety Support Officers and 13 Administration Officers.
“Today’s Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 shows our ongoing commitment to vulnerable children and families.”
Ms Linard said during the consultation, children and young people also spoke about the importance of knowing their rights.
“They told us about the rights they want to see protected, including the right to be treated with respect and the right to be treated fairly,” the Minister said.
“Today’s Bill addresses these concerns and provides significant new rights to children in the protection system.”
Media contact: Catherine Baker, Senior Media Advisor, tel: 0498 844 783