26 September 2023

More personnel to boost child protection

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The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs has revealed that almost 90 new child safety officers and support staff are to be employed to help at-risk families and children.

The Department said the expected appointments were part of continuing efforts by the child protection system to work with families dealing with complex needs and risk factors.

Minister for Children, Leanne Linard said child Safety investigations found in three out of four households where abuse had, or was at risk of, occurring, parents experienced a significant risk factor.

“This included current or 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,” she said.

Ms Linard said the recent State Budget allowed for the creation of an extra 87 front-line and front-line support staff positions in 2022-23.

“Placement of this staff has commenced and will continue throughout Queensland, with priority given to locations with high workloads,” Ms Linard said.

“Two child safety officers will also be allocated to a new high-risk team in Townsville,” she said.

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

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