More child safety officers and support staff for at risk children in Queensland
The Sector > Policy > More child safety officers and support staff for at risk children in Queensland

More child safety officers and support staff for at risk children in Queensland

by Freya Lucas

August 16, 2022

Almost 90 extra child safety officers and support staff will be employed to help at-risk families and children in Queensland.


Queensland’s Minister for Children Leanne Linard said the state’s child protection system continues to work with families dealing with complex needs and risk factors including domestic and family violence, mental health, and alcohol and drug misuse.


In three out of every four homes investigated where abuse had occurred or was at risk of occurring, parents experienced a significant risk factor such as past alcohol or drug abuse (61 per cent), mental illness (54 per cent) or recent experience of domestic and family violence (48 per cent), Ms Linard said.


“Around 40 per cent of children who come into the department’s care had a parent with current or previous methamphetamine use, up from 31 per cent almost five years ago.”


Queensland’s most recent Budget allowed for the creation of an extra 87 frontline and frontline support staff positions in 2022–23 to boost services for children and families in need of help. 


Placement of these staff has commenced and will continue throughout Queensland, with priority given to locations with high workloads. Two child safety officers will also be allocated to a new high-risk team in Townsville.


“I want parents and carers to know that support is always available to keep their children safe, and their families healthy and thriving,” Ms Linard said.


Critical out of home care services also received a boost in the Budget, with a record investment of $2.2 billion over five years.  


“Hundreds more children have ended up in care because of a growing range of pressures on families, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Linard explained.


“The number of children needing care rose by 3.4 per cent in the year to March 2022, compared to the previous year.”


The $2.2 billion includes $170 million in 2021-22 and $500 million per year from 2022-23 onwards. This will fund a range of care options including individual support packages to help families before they hit crisis point.  


“There is immense pressure on Queensland’s child protection system and this Budget will help us sustain crucial frontline services and allow some of our most vulnerable children to get the help they rightly deserve,” she said in closing. 


More information about Queensland’s Child Protection system is available here

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