Queensland Government media release
Some of Queensland’s most vulnerable children are a step closer to forever homes with the introduction of new legislation into Parliament.
Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said reforms to the Child Protection Act 1999 will require permanency planning to form part of the case plan for each child coming into care.
A new “permanent care order” will also be created, giving children in long-term care and their carers the same certainty as adoption.
“These changes are being made to provide a safe, secure and certain future for some of the state’s most vulnerable children,” Ms Fentiman said.
“These orders will provide vulnerable children and carers with the same certainty as adoption but without severing children from their legal identity or cutting off all ties to their extended families,” Ms Fentiman said.
“I want to reiterate that providing a safe, secure and certain future for some of the state’s most vulnerable children is one of the Queensland Government’s highest priorities.
“I have heard first-hand from those who understand the need for these changes the most – young people in care – and they strongly support the introduction of this new type of permanent care order.”
Ms Fentiman said the Bill is all about ensuring these children and young people are provided with a greater sense of certainty and stability in their lives.
“Under these proposed changes, we are paving the way to creating a more robust and responsive child protection system where vulnerable children and young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Ms Fentiman said.
The reforms also:
- Limit the period children can be covered by short-term care orders to two years;
- Provide for a child to be cared for up to the age of 25 if needed;
- Allow better information sharing between agencies so Child Safety can act earlier to protect vulnerable children; and
- Include reform measures designed to implement Queensland's nation-leading action plan Changing Tracks to reduce and better respond to the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care.