Leading on from the success of our SafeKIDS program in the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has partnered with Act for Kids to establish a family reunification house in Cairns.
The program is supported by eight trained professionals, who provide a safe, caring home for kids while authorities investigate concerns about their safety and wellbeing and work with their parents to address these concerns. This means kids can stay connected to their family, community and culture, instead of being placed in care far from their family and familiar environment, which can be very traumatic.
Act for Kids Practice Manager, Paul Harris, said he is confident the new service will create a safe home environment and reduce the number of children ending up in long-term foster placements.
Establishing a reunification service in Cairns means the Queensland Government recognises the importance of a 24 hour family-centred model aimed at ensuring temporary protection and support until a safe reunification or secure long-term care placement can be arranged.
We have the professional skills and the support of local services, so we can work together to help parents address any issues impacting their childrens safety and wellbeing, and gradually reunify children back with their parents and family, Paul Harris said.