The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability has released the Supporting Families Changing Futures report to provide an overview of progress during 2016-17.
The Queensland Government is committed to restoring child safety services and has backed the reform program with an investment of more than $1.1 billion in child and family services, plus an extra $200 million over four years to continue to strengthen the child and family system.
There are 421 new Child Safety positions being created over three years to provide increase support for vulnerable families at the right time and deliver improved outcomes for Queensland children.
Highlights from the report include:
- Helping families earlier through Family and Child Connect — More than 39,000 referrals have been made to date. In the last 12 months, almost 5000 enquiries came from parents themselves. This has helped reduce the number of intakes to child safety from nearly 130,000 since 2013–14 (before the rollout) to 108,041.
- Focusing on responsive service delivery — The proportion of investigations commenced (93.4%) is the highest since reporting of this measure began in 2009–10. The timeliness of investigations commenced within timeframes has also improved: 91.1% for 24 hour notifications; 30.5% for 5 day notifications; and 26% for 10 day notifications.
- Meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families — We have seen an increase in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in home-based care placed with kin — 47% are now placed with kin, up from 46% last year.
- Implementing our new Strengths-Based Practice Framework to work with vulnerable families — Compared to before the child and family reforms, there has been a 14.4% decrease in the number of children in need of protection and a 28% decrease in the number of children who re-enter the child protection system.
- Restoring frontline services — Significant investment in new frontline staff has seen caseloads below 19 for the past 3 quarters. The additional 421 new staff to come on line over the next three years will help to bring caseloads down even further.