Queensland’s 2018-19 Budget is focussed on continuing to improve the state’s child safety system with a focus on families and communities that are child safe.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the State Budget included $1.26 billion for Child and Family Services across Queensland.
“Funding of $3 million has been included in this year’s Budget as part of the Action On Ice package so that we can better support families known to child safety who are struggling with ice addictions,” she said.
“This is a real problem for many families, and one in three children found in need of protection had one or both parents who admitted to using methamphetamines in the past 12 months.”
This year’s Budget includes $52.8 million to continue implementation of critical reforms to the child protection system.
“This means more Child Safety frontline and frontline support positions to make sure the system can respond quickly and effectively to the needs of vulnerable children and families,” she said.
“We will have invested in 421 new positions since 2016 helping to keep Queensland children safe. 129 were provided in 2016-17, 236 in 2017-18 and another 56 to come in 2018-19.
“We will also continue to implement the quality improvement program to help drive better practices and decision making by Child Safety staff.”
Ms Farmer said during the next financial year there would be improved support for foster and kinship carers and a recruitment campaign to encourage more Queensland families to become foster and kinship carers would continue.
“We know that our dedicated foster and kinship carers are the backbone of Queensland’s child protection system, and we need more,” she said.
“There are more children and young people than ever before in care dealing with complex and challenging behaviours, so we are allocating an additional $20 million in the 2018-19 Budget to help with the increase in demand for placements.”
Ms Farmer said the department would continue initiatives to strengthen links between the child protection system and the justice, Police, education, health, mental health, housing and disability systems.
“We will also complete the Our Child ICT system that supports information sharing across relevant government agencies when children or young people are missing from care,” she said.
Ms Farmer said the department will continue prioritising the Our Way Strategy and Changing Tracks Action Plan to reduce the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families.
“Programs like the First 1000 Days initiative in Moreton Bay and Townsville are helping young families by supporting them prior to and after the birth of their baby,” she said.
The 2018-19 Budget also includes:
- $2.7 million funding to continue to implement the Keeping Queensland’s children more than safe: Review of the foster care system and Partners in Care priority actions to improve the care environment and better support foster and kinship carers;
- $3.3 million for additional positions in the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor to provide early, independent legal advice to child safety workers about child protection matters; and
- Funding of $4.3 million to continue developing an updated client information and case management solution and to improve ways agencies can work together on service delivery.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer