Increased foster and kinship carers making a difference
Published Friday, 03 February, 2023 at 02:37 PM
Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard
More than 6,000 carer families are now stepping up to support some of the state’s most vulnerable children, according to the latest child safety data released today.
The total number of carer families as of 30 September 2022 was 6,017, up from 5,927 at the same time in 2021 and 5,680 in 2020.
Minister for Children, Leanne Linard MP said many Queensland families were stepping up to become foster or kinship carers.
“Carer families play such a crucial role in ensuring some of Queensland’s most vulnerable children receive the support they need and deserve,” Minister Linard said.
“Over the last year, 1,547 families stepped up to be carers for the first time – to those families and those who continue to provide care, I say thank you,”
“We now have almost half of the children and young people in out-of-home care placed with kin (46.5%) compared to only around one-third in kinship care ten years ago.”
Ms Linard said recruiting more foster and kinship carers remains a key priority for the Queensland Government, as family support services continue to provide the necessary support and referrals needed to keep children safely at home.
“We are always looking for more carers and I would encourage anyone who is considering it to do their research and speak to someone about taking that initial step. It can be a wonderful rewarding role but not without its challenges,” she said.
Ms Linard said the number of children in care rose to 11,427 as of 30 September 2022. However, the growth rate was continuing to slow, with a 2.3 per cent increase compared to a 4.4 per cent increase for the year ending 30 September 2021 and an 8.6 per cent increase for the year ending 30 September 2020.
“Sadly, we know there’s still a great need for our child protection services, with 33,098 notifications recorded in the year ending 30 September 2022,” she said.
“The Department is committed to working with families to ensure children can grow up safe and supported, surrounded by both kin and culture,” she said.
Ms Linard said early intervention services continued to be well supported with 4,294 families receiving support from a Family Wellbeing Service, 211 more families compared to the same period last year, improving the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, children, and young people.
“I want parents and carers to know that support is always available to keep their children safe, and their families healthy and thriving,” Ms Linard said.
For more data information visit https://performance.cyjma.qld.gov.au/
Media Contact: Catherine Baker tel: 0498 844 783