The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian is the statutory body in Queensland that promotes and protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are in the care of the state. It is responsible for the independent monitoring of the child protection system in Queensland.
The Commission has released theQueensland Child Guardian Key Outcome Indicators Update: Queensland Child Protection System 200811 which provides a review of key data and information about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the states child protection system.
Key findings of the report:
- The percentage of investigation and assessments responded to and completed within departmental benchmarks remains low, with relatively minor improvements over the past three years.
- While the majority of children and young people reported they are healthy, findings suggest that considerable numbers appear to have a variety of unmet mental and physical health needs.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people continue to be significantly overrepresented at all levels of the child protection system.
- 98.4% of young people and 97.9% of children report feeling safe in their current placement.
- The rate of Queensland children in out-of-home care has remained below the national average over the past three years.
- While there have been mild improvements in transition from care planning, more needs to be done to ensure all children transitioning to independent living have an adequate plan and supports in place.
Although there have been improvements across most areas, findings indicate that further improvements need to be made to ensure the protection and wellbeing of children and young people. The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian has also made a lengthy submission to the inquiry.