PeakCare and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSIPP) are pleased to release our Overview of Survey Findings: Liberal National Party’s proposals for overhauling Queensland’s child protection system, the first in a series of papers reporting on the findings of a survey our organisations conducted about various aspects of the proposals announced by the Liberal National Party (LNP) on 17 June 2020.

Our purpose in conducting the survey was to collect, collate and provide feedback about the LNP’s proposals to further inform the development and refinement of the policy platforms of all political parties as they seek to bring about improvements to Queensland’s child protection system. As other parties release their policy platforms, PeakCare and QATSICPP will look for similar opportunities to seek feedback about these platforms.

Copies of the report were sent to Premier Palaszczuk, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, Child Safety Minister Di Farmer and Shadow Minister Stephen Bennet yesterday. PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener and QATSICPP’s Garth Morgan were also pleased to participate in bipartisan discussions conducted by Minister Di Farmer and Shadow Minister Stephen Bennett at Parliament House on 13 August 2020, during which we delivered a briefing about key findings of the survey. This meeting was also attended by CREATE’s Rachael Donovan. Bryan Smith from Foster and Kinship Care Queensland was unfortunately unable to attend due to a prior commitment. PeakCare strongly commends both Minister Farmer and Shadow Minister Stephen Bennett for their engagement in this dialogue and their enthusiastic interest in the survey and its findings. We look forward to more discussions of this type.

About the survey findings:

In total, 1,998 people responded to the survey, who were categorised into thirteen sub-groups including, for example, employees of non-government organisations, employees of government agencies, academics, Foster and Kinship Carers, and young people and parents with a lived experience of the child protection system. The survey produced what can best be described as a ‘mixed bag’ of findings. There were some proposals about which there was a high level of agreement. This contrasted with others where the opposite was the case. In respect of some matters, the findings were relatively consistent across all or most of the thirteen sub-groups, but in other instances, there were distinct differences in the responses provided by the sub-groups.  The wide range of responses suggest that, in respect of many of the LNP’s proposals, opinions are strongly divided.

As noted in the introduction to the report, it would be a mistake to treat the survey as a ‘poll’ that simply measured numbers of people who favoured or did not favour strategies proposed by the LNP.   The survey’s true value will come from the consideration that can be given to the commentary provided by the survey respondents that will feature in the more detailed reports that will follow this overview of the findings – consideration that can be given to this commentary not only by political parties, but also a wide range of government and non-government organisations, interest groups and individuals including those who have had a lived experience of the child protection system.

As such, this report is best regarded as something to whet your appetite for the reports to follow. It is these reports that will best serve as the catalyst for further research, discussion and debate about the best ways forward in continuously improving Queensland’s child protection system and achieving better outcomes for Queensland children, young people and families.

We look forward to also regularly bringing these reports to your attention as they become available. Please enter comments about your responses to the survey and/or the bipartisan discussions that are underway. If you prefer, you may enter your comments anonymously.