PeakCare Queensland is dedicated to promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and their families. Below you will find PeakCare's position statements on issues relevant to the child protection sector.
PeakCare's Position Statements
PeakCare's position on licensed and unlicensed residential care services in Queensland (2023).
There has been a significant increase in the proportion of children and young people placed in residential care settings over the last decade as a result of a number of factors including limited family-based care capacity and options. In July 2023, the Honourable Craig Crawford MP, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Seniors and Disability Services, announced a comprehensive review of Queensland’s residential care system. The review has been designed to be comprehensive and collaborative with consultations occurring with a diverse range of stakeholders, including system partners, departmental staff, funded non-government service providers, community members, and people with lived experience.
The outcomes of the review will be used to develop evidence-based policies and initiatives aimed at strengthening the child protection system. These initiatives will focus on reducing Queensland’s over-reliance on residential care, expanding and improving the care arrangements available for children and young people, supporting the development of life skills for children-in-care, and ensuring that children and young people in care have the same opportunities as their peers to thrive and achieve their full potential.
It has been of long concern to PeakCare, and more recently highlighted throughout the review process, that there is disproportionate number of unlicensed services providing residential care to children and young people in Queensland.
PeakCare believes residential care is an important placement option within the out-of-home care ecosystem and services providing this type of care should be licensed.
PeakCare understands there remain significant barriers for organisations seeking to achieving licensing including concerns the process for licensing of providers and service provision is significantly burdensome and overregulated. We believe there continues to be significant barriers for organisations who seek to become licensed including the cost of meeting and maintaining licensing requirements, the timeframes required by the department and the model of licensing that requires organisation to be invited-in to the process by DCSSDS.
While Queensland’s residential care review is in its initial stages, there are clear opportunities to improve outcomes for children and young people in residential care settings. A clear emerging opportunity to decrease significant systemic barriers and enhance quality of care involves reviewing licenced care provision. PeakCare sees four (4) key opportunity areas. This includes addressing the:
- barriers to becoming a licensed care provider – there is stringent criteria to become a licensed provider, resulting in many services providers being ineligible to become licensed. Reviewing the criteria is essential to encourage providers to become licensed.
- ambiguity around the licensing process - the unclear nature of the application process often results in confusion for services wanting to become a licensed provider. Simplifying processes involved with licensing requirements and providing support to providers to increase their knowledge and understanding will enable services to effectively navigate the process.
- complicated application and renewal processes – the regulation requirements needed to undertake approval and re-approval processes have resulted in significant administrative burden and misunderstanding of requirements. Streamlining of processes and increased support to assist providers through the licensing process is required to enable providers to successfully achieve licensing.
- high costs to become and maintain licensing – the costs associated with becoming and maintaining licensing is contributing to significant financial burden on services. Financial support through contract management needs to reflect these increased costs and pressure.
We welcome feedback and questions. Please contact PeakCare Qld by phone (07) 3368 1050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PeakCare's position on the Voice to Parliament referendum (2023).
PeakCare Queensland is proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the call for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament, in line with the published views of a majority of our Member organisations.
As the largest consensus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australian history, the Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to all Australians, inviting us to walk together on a path of recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, towards a better future.
The Statement from the Heart seeks to create a culture of empowerment that allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to take a rightful place in their own country. The Statement from the Heart includes reference to establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.
PeakCare Queensland is committed to supporting self-determination for the First Peoples of Australia and to addressing the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection and youth justice systems. We believe the Voice to Parliament will be a significant first step in recognising the special and important place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold in Australia's history and our future.
Constitutional reform is crucial to recognise the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which has never been ceded and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown. A Voice to Parliament will ensure that First Nations peoples can inform the policies and laws that impact their lives and therefore, provide a means to positively influence pathways to self-determination, opportunities and leadership.
While we recognise and respect the diversity of views held by the public and within our Member organisations, and encourage the development of respectful and informed discussion, PeakCare Queensland is committed to supporting the Voice to Parliament. We will publicly express our support and collaborate and share resources that promote understanding of the Voice and its importance to all Australians.
Find out more about the Voice at the Australian Government's website.
PeakCare Queensland stands with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, friends, colleagues and neighbours experiencing grief and sorrow today.
We unite in a week of silence with First Nations peoples to allow space to process the outcome, and consider what this might mean for the future. PeakCare is committed to supporting reconciliation and self-determination as a way towards equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
For any First Nations peoples experiencing distress at this outcome, 13YARN offers 24/7 crisis support nationwide to yarn without judgement on 13 92 76.
Always was, always will be.