A report released on the final day of Queensland Child Protection Week shows more than 75 percent support an increase in the age of foster and kinship care to 21. The detailed report reveals the results of a survey of two thousand government and non-government child safety workers and child safety supporters.
“The vast majority of people support offering the extension of care to young people,” says Home Stretch Qld Co-Chair and PeakCare Executive Director Lindsay Wegener. “More significantly there is a call for the increase to be permanent and not just a time-limited trial.
“As we head towards the state election, all parties need to support a permanent increase in foster and kinship care for those young people who want it. There also needs to be greater housing support up to the age of 21 for young people who have been in residential care.
“The current Queensland Government has increased the age to 19 and the LNP has promised a trial to extend foster and kinship care payments to the age of 21. But young people in all types of state care need support offered to the age of 21 if they need it.
“Parents don’t simply abandon their children when they turn 18 or 19, neither should the state,” says Lindsay.
The report is one of many released during Queensland Child Protection week that details the results of the extensive survey of workers, young people, carers, academics and child safety supporters. The survey was carried out follow the announcement of LNP policy and promises.
“Home Stretch has been calling for an increase in the age of care for a long time and the survey findings make it very clear that offering this care to the age of care to 21 is widely supported,” says Home Stretch Qld Co-chair and Create Foundation Qld Coordinator Rachel Donovan.
“What is also clear is that a many are questioning the need for a trail and should make any increase in the age of care permanent. All parties and whoever is elected now have the opportunity to build on the current government’s increase to 19, further build on the LNP’s promise of a trial and permanently extend the age of care to 21.
“At the close of Queensland Child Protection Week it is important that all young people in out-of-home care, no matter who the live with, are offered support until the turn 21. This is no different to what any good parent would do,” says Rachel.
Full reports on the survey are available at https://peakcare.com.au/latest-news/ and includes the results of 1998 people surveyed between 19/6/20 and 10/7/20.
Lindsay Wegener, Home Stretch Qld Co-chair & PeakCare Executive Director
Rachel Donovan, Home Stretch Qld co-chair & Create Qld Coordinator
are available for comment by phoning Mark Jeffery on 0419 732 583