A young person with autism who is living in foster care has been recognised for his achievements on International Day of People with Disability yesterday.
Joshua Soloai, 17, won Autism Queensland’s Creative Futures Recognition Awards Individual Achievement Award for his school project showcasing his experience of being in foster care.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer congratulated Joshua on his achievement, and also acknowledged the support given to Joshua from his foster carers and Child Safety staff.
“Huge congratulations to Joshua, who is a very impressive young man achieving great things,” she said.
“Joshua’s winning entry is a short animated film about his experiences in foster care, in his own words.
“The animation tells a wonderful story which highlights both his own personal achievements, and the importance of being part of a loving foster family.
“Joshua’s animation is not only a marvellous achievement on its own, but also it’s important for us to hear directly from young people like Joshua about what’s important to them in care.
“Our foster carers are a valuable part of our child protection system, and they support thousands of young people like Joshua to reach their potential in a warm and loving home.”
Ms Farmer said the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women had established two Specialist Services teams this year to support young Queenslanders with complex disabilities.
“We have 27 Specialist Services staff based throughout Queensland who support children in care with complex disabilities,” she said.
“Part of their job is making sure that all eligible children and young people with ongoing child protection intervention are supported to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“Transitioning to the NDIS can be a complex and time consuming task, which is why we’re making it a priority to make sure families at risk who have children with a disability can get the support they need, when they need it.”
Ms Farmer said Specialist Services consisted of two teams, 15 Specialist Services clinicians and 12 Transition Team officers, who work across the state to address complex cases of young people with a disability in the child protection system, as well as those at risk of entering or who are exiting the system.
“Staff work very closely with each individual and their family or carers to provide practical support, including help to access the right supports and funding, to secure safe accommodation and set goals and plans for a bright future,” she said.
To watch Joshua’s animation, click here: https://www.facebook.com/childfamilyqld/videos/2289730761247923/