The Palaszczuk Government has announced more than $60,000 in funding for the CREATE Foundation to help them connect with kids in care and check on them during COVID-19 restrictions.
Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer said the unseen impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was important to ensure that vulnerable children are okay and that their needs are being met.
“During times of crisis, children living in out-of-home care are particularly vulnerable to an increase in depression, anxiety and mental health issues that come with being isolated,” Ms Farmer said.
“This new service will check on these children and young people and provide them with information and referrals to support services.
“But most importantly, it will provide a connection to just check in and see how they are going.”
“CREATE does a wonderful job helping young people and children with a care experience to reach their full potential and this funding will enable them to employ two full-time staff members to provide ‘connection calls’ to Club CREATE members and other children and young people in care in Queensland.
“With social distancing, online and phone platforms are the only way many children and young people can connect, so we need to adjust how we are doing things and make sure we stay connected.
“While these are challenging times, our innovative partners at CREATE were early in rising to the challenge by switching their traditional service delivery to online and via phone,” she said.
CREATE CEO Jacqui Reed said with more than 9000 children and young people in care in Queensland it was important CREATE checked in with kids in care during the next few months to learn more about how they are faring under COVID-19, to chat with them about their wellbeing and support needs and refer them to appropriate services.
“CREATE has COVID-19 updates on their blog at https://create.org.au/news/blog/ and has launched a new video series with mascot ‘Gus’ providing information to children and young people,” she said.
“Kids in care may be facing mental health challenges and feeling isolated, and this group is at a greater risk than others in the community as many don’t have family support networks.”
Ms Reed said CREATE was thankful for the proactive funding from the Palaszczuk Government focusing on the well-being of a vulnerable population.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer