Queensland Government media release

The Palaszczuk Government is slashing red tape to allow foster and kinship carers to make more day-to-day decisions about children in their care and simplifying the child-related cost claims process.

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said the changes would benefit foster and kinship carers supporting children and young people who are subject to guardianship orders to the chief executive.

“Our more than 5,300 carers are a valuable and intrinsic part of our child safety team, and I am intent on making sure we support them in every way we can,” she said.

“One of the things carers have raised really frequently with me is that they have to deal with too much red tape.

“We don’t want to get in the way of allowing carers to focus on their most important task, which is looking after the children in their care. 

“So from January 2020, we’re making some changes that we hope will make it easier for carers.

“When meeting the costs themselves, carers will be able to make decisions about whether children in their care goes to school camp, takes a holiday, or takes part in other extra-curricular activities like snorkelling or horseriding, or Scouts and Girl Guides.

“We have also made changes to clarify when carers can organise blood tests to reduce delays in testing and treatment.

“We also don’t want carers to be out of pocket, so we’re making it easier to submit claims and get money back faster through the Carer Connect application.”

Other improvements made this year include:

  • Child Safety Service Centres reaching out more regularly to carers;
  • extension of access to carer allowances for carers continuing to look after young people up to 19 years from 1 July 2020; and
  • an extra $2.5 million allocated into the new Next Steps Plus program to support young people’s transition to adulthood commencing in early 2020.

“We are always listening to carers and finding ways to make it easier for them to help keep our children safe and loved.”

For more information about the changes to decision-making for foster and kinship carers and child-related cost claims, visit this website.

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