Queensland’s plan to overhaul Child Protection should include more support for foster families and pathways to permanency for children, according to the Australian Christian Lobby’s recent recommendations to a Parliamentary Committee.
Child protection policy in Queensland is geared to respond to the short-term needs of children in danger. Without long-term planning to support all aspects of their well-being, children can spend their entire childhood moving from one temporary home to another, without the security and support of a permanent loving family.
The Queensland government proposes new early intervention measures to identify and support vulnerable families before they reach crisis point and before their children’s safety is in jeopardy. It also proposes empowering Indigenous community groups to oversee the placement of indigenous children in appropriate care within their community and kinship networks where possible.
The ACL welcomes these initiatives but suggests more can be done to support existing foster families and to encourage new couples to sign up for this important work.
The system of “Open Adoption” implemented in New South Wales could work to the long-term benefit of children from neglected or abusive backgrounds in Queensland, as well as the families who welcome these disadvantaged children into their homes.