QATSICPP Residential Care Forum and Submission
On September 25th over 40 representatives from QATSICPP member organisations and other community controlled providers across the state came together in Meanjin Brisbane for the QATSICPP Residential Care Forum. The purpose of the forum was to boldly reimagine how we could support our families experiencing vulnerability with the aim of driving down the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people being placed in residential care. In July this year the Queensland Government announced a review of the state’s residential care system. The review has a particular focus on the experiences of children aged under 12, First Nations children, and children with a disability.
The QATSICPP Residential Care Forum featured a wide range of knowledge holders and leaders across our sector yarning about residential care and Queensland’s current out-of-home care placement system. We shared our collective concern at the ongoing distress and dislocation from family and community that is occurring for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Participants at the forum highlighted the urgent need for a different approach, one that was led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, respecting their unique knowledge and role in caring for our children. They wanted critical actions that would lead to real change, with significant investment to ensure that no more of our children ended up in a system not designed for them and with no demonstrated benefit for their long-term outcomes.
Along with other leaders across our sector QATSICPP CEO Garth Morgan discussed these calls to action with the Hon. Craig Crawford MP, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Seniors and Disability Services at the Ministerial Roundtable on Residential Care on Thursday 28 September 2023.
As a result of our collective advocacy Minister Crawford has agreed to an immediate review of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait child in residential care with a view to ensuring that their current placement is in their best interest. Where children are to be transitioned out of residential care, then the projected allocation of funds that would have sustained the placement of that child over the next 12 months will be made available to fund an individual support plan for children to ensure an effective transition to community.
Many of the key messages from the QATSICPP Residential Care forum were also included in QATSICPP’s submission to the residential care review, which you can view here. The review will inform the development of a Roadmap for Contemporary Residential Care in Queensland, which will be delivered to Minister Crawford in December 2023.