On Monday 16 December the Queensland Government published its response to Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, the final report from the recent Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.
Child Safety Minister, Tracy Davis, said the government had carefully considered each of Commissioner Carmodys 121 recommendations; accepting 115 and accepting a further six in principle. She 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.
We will make it easier for families to get the support they need so that wherever possible, so children can remain at home.
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, Minister Davis said.
Act for Kids CEO, Dr Neil Carrington, welcomed the governments commitment to early intervention, cautioning that to be effective it will require significant investment and support.
Act for Kids is committed to a future where all children have the safe, happy childhoods they deserve. Weve been working tirelessly for 25 years to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.
Our intensive family support services help families develop new skills and work together to overcome their challenges and achieve their own personal goals. Weve seen time and again how strong and successful families can become with the right support.
But there is a great need for these services and it takes time for families to adjust and grow stronger. It will take real investment to ensure vulnerable families can access the right programs, and for long enough to see real sustained change, Dr Carrington said.
Some of the key recommendations accepted by government include:
- an 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 to be transitioned to the Queensland Police Service.
For more information about the governments response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Final Report, visit http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-and-renewal/child-and-family-reforms
For the full report and recommendations, visithttp://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/202625/QCPCI-FINAL-REPORT-web-version.pdf