(QldGovSpin) $2.9 Million in State funds to help bring Qld families back together

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 24/11/2004 - 00:44

Cairns: Queensland children in care and their families are set to benefit from a multi-million dollar funding announcement by the Department of Child Safety that will help local services provide a range of family reunification support over the next three years.

Kens Comment: This is total crap. I found out that this only applied to children taken in the last twelve months and there is a court review every two years anyway. This evil taxpayer funded industry is only benefiting unemployables.

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Child Safety, Mike Reynolds
childsafety@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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19/11/04

Minister for Child Safety Mike Reynolds today announced that 17 Queensland organisations, including five from Far North Queensland, would share in more than $2.9 million in funding over three years and one-off funds of more than $278,000.

"Family reunification services have long been recognised as having significant benefits to children and young people in alternative care, as well as their families and carers," Mr Reynolds said.

"Our priority in 2004-05 will be to work with children and their families within the first 12 months of entry into care and to implement processes that engage family members and significant members of the child's cultural community in decision making," he said.

Mr Reynolds said that according to research, the majority of children in care returned to their families, with protective placement only a temporary experience.

"The aim of this initiative is to promote the safe reunification of children and young people in alternative care with their family and the community.

"Where returning home is not possible, the aim of such services is to establish a long-term placement option that also meets the child's needs for connection with family and the community, stability and a sense of belonging," he said.

Mr Reynolds said five Far North Queensland organisations would share in over $400,000 funding to provide a range of intervention and support services that promote safe reunifications for children in care with their family, where it is in the best interests of the child.

The successful community organisations, who form part of the Far North Queensland Family Reunification Service System, include the following:

- Lifeline Cairns Shared Family Care $39,591,

- Centacare Cairns Family Support Program $27,586;

- Wu Chopperen Health Service - Intensive Support Service $75,106;

- Lifeline Cairns Intensive Family Support Program $127,586; and

- Atherton Neighbourhood Centre Family Support Program $76,502.

Mr Reynolds said that services targeted at specifically supporting the family reunification process for Indigenous children in protective care would also benefit from the funding.

"There remains significant over-representation of Indigenous children and young people in the alternative care system," he said.

"In the Far Northern Zone, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been identified as high priorities for family reunification services and support programs.

"In response to this, we have allocated 19 per cent of the total available funding to Indigenous family reunification services," he said.

Mr Reynolds said the funding pool was part of a $3.12 million funding commitment to family reunification services in 2004-05, with the remaining $219,000 to be held in reserve until further developments could be made to ensure all areas of Queensland benefited from the initiative.

Funding of more than $100,000 had been reserved for the Far Northern Zone and would be allocated to a suitable organisation to service the Cape York Peninsula area.

A second new funding instalment of $1.56 million will be available in 2005-06 with total funding for the family reunification initiative rising to $6.24 million in the 2006-07 financial year.

Media Contact: Karla Steen 0407 582 041 or
John Ross 3224 7081

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