26 September 2023

Carer families count 6,000 for kids this year

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The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (CYJMA) has released its latest child safety data which reveal that more than 6,000 carer families stepped up to support some of the State’s most vulnerable children.

According to the Minister for Children and Youth Justice, Leanne Linard, the total number of carer families at 30 September last year was 6,017, up from 5,927 at the same time in 2021 and 5,680 in 2020.

“Carer families play such a crucial role in ensuring some of Queensland’s most vulnerable children receive the support they need and deserve,” Ms Linard said.

“Over the last year, 1,547 families stepped up to be carers for the first time – to those families and those who continue to provide care, I say thank you,” she said.

“We now have almost half of the children and young people in out-of-home care placed with kin (46.5%) compared to only around one-third in kinship care 10 years ago.”

Ms Linard said that recruiting more foster and kinship carers remained a key priority as family support services continued to provide the necessary support and referrals needed to keep children safely at home.

“We are always looking for more carers and I would encourage anyone who is considering it to do their research and speak to someone about taking that initial step,” she said.

“It can be a wonderful rewarding role but not without its challenges.”

The Minister said the number of children in care rose to 11,427 on 30 September 2022 with the growth rate continuing to slow with a 2.3 per cent increase compared to a 4.4 per cent increase for the year ending 30 September 2021, and an 8.6 per cent increase for the year ending 30 September 2020.

“Sadly, we know there’s still a great need for our child protection services, with 33,098 notifications recorded in the year ending 30 September 2022,” Ms Linard said.

“The Department is committed to working with families to ensure children can grow up safe and supported, surrounded by both kin and culture,” she said.

“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.

More information from the latest child safety data can be accessed at this PS News link.

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