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Queensland Government media release

Vulnerable families in Toowoomba will now have access to new intensive and specialist support services to help keep their children safely at home and out of the child protection system.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman today visited Uniting Care Community, which will receive more than $1.6 million over the next five years to set up and deliver the new Intensive Family Support service in Toowoomba.

“I am delighted that the Toowoomba community will benefit from this new in-home, hands-on support service that work closely with some of this area’s most vulnerable families,” she said.

“We know that the needs of vulnerable families are becoming increasingly complex and that’s why stepped-up services are so important to help keep them safe and together.

“These services are designed to provide targeted and intensive support to families before they reach crisis point and reduce the number of children and young people who need to go into care.

“They are designed to work with families to help them adequately nurture, protect and keep their children safe.”

Twenty-three of these services are currently up and running across Queensland and in the two years that the new services have been established, more than 5700 families across the state have been referred to access assistance.

Ms Fentiman said the Toowoomba support service was part of a total $65 million investment over five years to roll out new and expanded family support services across the state. “These services continue to do a great job helping Queensland families, and with this funding they will be able to expand their services to even more families and help address any service delivery gaps,” she said

“It’s about keeping families together safely at home whenever we can by providing targeted support to help families overcome issues such as domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol misuse to mental illness and parental history of childhood trauma,” she said.

“Prevention is better than a cure and by supporting these vital services, we are protecting children and giving parents a helping hand to have a happy and healthy family.”

Sally Kelynack General Manager, Child and Family Services, UnitingCare Queensland has welcomed the Palasczcuk Government's announcement today to increase funding to help families in need in the Toowoomba region.

"In the past 12 months we have received over 100 referrals of families who could be considered some of our most vulnerable in our local community.  

“This funding will enable our team to reach more families in need across the region, working with vulnerable families to strengthen the resilience and capacity of both parents and children, while at the same time, minimising identified risks and providing increased safety for children and their families,” she said.

“We takes a single case plan approach to support families and actively collaborates with other agencies to ensure families get the service they need, when they need them.

“Our staff at the Toowoomba service do a fantastic job in challenging environment.  Their hard work is rewarded by seeing those who they support succeed in building a safe, nurturing and secure environment for their families,” Ms Kelynack said.   

These hands-on, in-home services can provide transport to medical appointments, help with establishing daily routines related to meals or getting to school, parenting courses, budgeting advice, counselling, family mediation, anger management and domestic violence intervention programs.

Families can also be referred to other supports including access to housing, child care, emergency relief payments and rental assistance.

For more information go to www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-renewal/child-family

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