The State Budget is due to be released on 28th April, around two months earlier than usual, and undoubtedly the Queensland Government and its various agencies are now well and truly embroiled in the argy-bargy of determining how and on what taxpayer dollars are best spent.
Operating as a combined force, PeakCare, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak, the CREATE Foundation, Queensland Foster and Kinship Care and the Family Inclusion Network SEQ (Micah Projects) elected to exert our influence on the Government’s decision-making by sending this submission to Premier Palaszczuk, Treasurer Jackie Trad and Child Safety Minister Di Farmer. The submission states our collective recommendations about seven matters warranting focused attention in the budget which, if acted upon, will align well with the laudable high priority the Government has placed on Giving all our children a good start as featured within the list of Advancing Queensland’s Priorities.
Reference is also made within the submission to earlier correspondence sent to Premier Palaszczuk and members of her Cabinet urging the Government to prioritise the enhancement of support to be provided to young people in care during their transition to adulthood, building on initiatives already commenced, but which can and should be improved, in relation to the Next Steps Plus program, the extension of carer payments (as advocated for by the Home Stretch Campaign and other whole-of-government activities.
You are invited to read the submissions and share your views, anonymously if you prefer, by entering comments below about any of the matters discussed in either or both submissions. Similar to most governments, the Palaszcuk Government will be looking to gauge the strength of opinion held by stakeholders and the general public about where they should be investing resources. Take up the opportunity to let the government officials who monitor our blogs know your views. Our collective voice can be formidable. Do not be silent – make some noise!
Both are excellent submissions. Well done to all.
I support both submissions. There is nothing stated in either with which I disagree. You have done a commendable job of addressing a very full and diverse range of concerns and constructively pointed the Government in the right direction.
Having correspondence like this written and agreed to by all of the Queensland child protection peaks makes it a very powerful and compelling statement – one that the Government cannot ignore.
I am strongly supportive of the submission about young people’s transition into adulthood. All of the arguments for the full range of supports needed by young people in care are very well stated. I especially support the argument that the children of these young people deserve a better start to life than they ones they often received. This ties in to the Government’s priority at giving all our children a good start at life and supports the notion of breaking the inter-generational cycle of contact with the child protection system – something that we should all be striving to achieve, which from a Government perspective, also makes good economic sense.
I fully support both submissions – well evidenced and documented. It is imperative that the Government helps fix a system that is in such crisis that the welfare of the child is NOT paramount. We desperately need more carers across the State, and kin carers need equal rights and recognition if we ever are to stabilize placements and enable children to feel safe and connected.
Thank you for including issues concerning kinship care as one of the seven matters that warrant attention by the Government. As you state within your submission, the thousands of families and often, single adults who are caring for the children of relatives or, in many instances, their own brothers and sisters, who are not in the care of the State are largely left alone and unsupported by either the State or Federal Governments. We should be looking to New Zealand where all relative carers, irrespective of whether or not their children are in the care of the State, receive payments similar to those made to foster carers and ‘approved’ kinship carers.
I strongly support your submission – especially in relation to the issues you have raised about kinship care. I recognise the complexity involved in working across levels of government to achieve a much more satisfactory means for supporting relative carers. Your submission provides an excellent starting point for the State Government to take the lead.
Thank you to all the grandparents, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters who are providing care for their grandchildren, nephews and nieces, and younger siblings, and keeping them away from unnecessary (and costly) involvement with the child protection system.
Congratulations to all involved in producing the submission. Also, a big congratulations and thank you for the Kinship Care Forum held last week. Thank you for continuing to draw the Government’s attention to the ‘invisible’ kinship carers. I hope that many more people enter comments to this blog – a small part that we can all play in making sure that these carers do not remain invisible