The Newman Government has announced it will implement the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations and fundamentally reform how the child protection system operates.
In response to the Commission of Inquiry’s final report, Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis said the overwhelming focus of the government would be to support families and keep children from entering the child protection system.
“The need for more prevention and early intervention services was the clear direction set by Commissioner Tim Carmody,” Ms Davis said.
“However, he stressed that it should not just be up to the government to fix the problem-the report is about taking responsibility and it’s up to parents and the community to play their part if there is to be real intergenerational change.”
Ms Davis said the government had carefully considered each of Commissioner Carmody’s 121 recommendations; with 115 accepted and a further six accepted in principle.
She said the Newman Government was poised and ready to implement the landmark reforms, which will strengthen some of Queensland’s most vulnerable families.
“The Newman Government inherited a child protection system that was overburdened and unsustainable,” she said.
“The Labor Government created a statutory system that funnelled referrals to Child Safety, and sadly too often this system meant families were torn apart.”
Ms Davis said the Newman Government would take the approach of keeping families together.
“We will make it easier for families to get the support they need so that wherever possible, so children can remain at home,” she said.
“Under our reforms, professionals will be able to refer families to community agencies who will talk with the family, work out what support they need and help them access the right service.”
Some of the key recommendations accepted by government include:
· Increased role for the non-government sector
· Diverting families from the child protection system
· Supporting young people who have left care, until the age of 21
· Reducing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
· Amending legislation and the role of children and families in court
· Forming a new Family and Child Commission
· Increasing the use of boarding schools for children in care
· Working with Children Checks (Blue Cards) scheme will be undertaken by the Queensland Police Service.For more information about the Government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Final Report please go to: http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-and-renewal/child-and-family-reforms