A record number of children placed with kin
Queensland Government media release
A record number of Queensland children are being supported to stay with kin and communities, according to the latest child safety data.
Minister for Children, Leanne Linard said as of 30 June 2022 nearly half of all children in care were placed with kin. This is up nearly one percentage point from last year, and significantly higher than a decade ago.
“Ten years ago, just 35 per cent of children were placed with kin. Today, that number is at 46.4 per cent. It means we’re keeping more children with relatives, friends or community members,” the Minister said.
Ms Linard said Queenslanders were continuing to step up when a family was unable to care for their children safely at home.
“More than 1,500 families have become carers for the first time. To those carers, we say thank you,” she said.
“There are now 5,967 carer families, up from 5,868 a year ago. Almost all this increase came from kinship carers.”
Ms Linard said that the number of children requiring care rose to 11,323 as of 30 June 2022. The growth rate was continuing to slow, with a 2.3 per cent increase for the year ending June 2022 compared to a 3.4 per cent increase for the year ending March 2022 and 4.0 per cent increase for the year ending December 2021.
“Sadly, our data shows there’s still a great need for our child protection services, with 32,005 notifications requiring investigation in the year ending 30 June 2022. This is a 13.3 per cent increase compared to the same period last year at 28,243,” she said.
“But we continue to prioritise our most urgent cases. For investigations with a 24-hour priority, just over 94 per cent were started on time despite increased demand.”
Queensland’s family support services continued to provide families with the necessary support and referrals to keep children safe at home. The latest data shows, in the year ending 30 June 2022:
- Family and Child Connect received 30,417 enquiries
- Intensive Family Support Services supported 4,733 families
- 88 per cent of children who received Intensive Family Support and had their needs met did not require a subsequent investigation in the following six months
- Family Wellbeing Services supported 4,449 families. This is an increase of 435 families (10.8 per cent) compared to the same period last year
- 87 per cent of children who received Family Wellbeing Services and had their needs met did not require a subsequent investigation in the following six months.
“I want parents and carers to know that support is always available to keep their children safe, and their families healthy and thriving,” Ms Linard said.