More families are accessing support services to keep their children healthy and safe, according to the latest child safety data released today.
Minister for Children Leanne Linard MP said the December quarterly data showed Family and Child Connect had received 31,342 enquiries in the year ending 31 December 2021 and more than 9,000 families had been helped by either Intensive Family Support or Family Wellbeing Services.
“With the rising demand for child safety services in Queensland, our early intervention family support services continue to provide families with the help they need to keep children safe at home,” she said.
“It’s also worthwhile noting that the number of children being placed with kin has increased to 46.6 percent.
“Child safety investigations increased by almost 12 per cent to 30,375 compared to the year before, which is 3,204 more investigations in 2021.
“For investigations with a 24-hour priority, 94 percent of these commenced on time.”
Ms Linard said while the number of children requiring care rose to 11,260 as of 31 December 2021, the latest data shows that growth is continuing to slow at 4 percent, compared to 4.4 percent for the year ending in September 2021 and at 5.1 percent in the year ending June 2021.
“When a family can’t care for their children safely at home, Queenslanders are stepping up and becoming foster and kinship carers,” she said.
“I’m delighted to see that 1,596 new families are first-time carers. These families are making a positive impact on our most vulnerable children.”
Ms. Linard said that Queensland’s child protection system continues to work with families dealing with complex needs, with the current data showing Ice continues to have the most impact on the system.
“Unfortunately, 40.1 percent of children who came into the care of the department in the 12 months to 31 December 2021 had a parent with current or previous methamphetamine use,” she said.
“Although this figure is down slightly from 41.7 percent a year ago, Ice is still having a heartbreaking impact on Queensland families.”
Child Safety investigations found three out of every four households where abuse had or was at risk of occurring, parents experienced a significant risk factor, like current or past alcohol or drug abuse (63 percent), mental illness (54 percent) or recent experience of domestic and family violence (49 percent).
“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.
Ms Linard said Queensland’s child safety data could now be accessed on the department’s newly launched Our Performance website.
“This website is the most comprehensive source of child protection performance data of any jurisdiction in Australia, with more than 100 measures published every quarter,’ she said
“It includes more than 30 new measures, meaning we will be reporting regularly to the public on the performance of our family support system, education outcomes for children in care, and the intersection of the child protection and youth justice systems. “
To view the new site and get more data information, visit https://performance.cyjma.qld.gov.au/