- UnitingCare Community is a leading provider of child and family support programs in Queensland. These include:
- Relationship counselling, counselling for children, conflict resolution education and family dispute resolution services to help families manage conflict and to promote the best interests of children in the event of family breakdown.
- Support for families such as Intensive Family Support services designed to improve family functioning and children’s wellbeing, address child protection concerns and ensure families have the capacity to care safely for their children.
- Out of home care that assists and supports children and young people in a variety of care arrangements other than with their parents. These arrangements include foster care, placements with relatives or kin, and residential care.
- UnitingCare Queensland supports the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (Carmody) recommendations, and its key recommendation to shift investment from tertiary services to early intervention. This has resulted in new models of care such as the Community Based Intake and Referral Service and Intensive Family Support and transition from care programs.
- UnitingCare Community is implementing a new service model that’s moving towards a consistent and evidence-based approach to service delivery, common assessment and case management tools and key case workers. In addition, the Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) model is being implemented across out of home care services to provide a consistent practice and therapeutic approach when working with children and young people.
Challenges and opportunities
- There is a need for continued investment for the delivery of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations, particularly investment in secondary services to reduce the number of families in contact with the child protection system, and earlier transition of children from care.
- Investment in delivering the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations commenced from mid-2014, and as such it is too early to determine the investment’s impact on the child protection system and achieving outcomes for children and families. Therefore this investment should continue at the committed levels to ensure the recommendations are achieved.
UnitingCare Queensland position
UnitingCare Queensland calls for continued investment:
- in secondary child protection services and earlier transition for children leaving out of home care; and
- by the Queensland Government in the delivery of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations at the committed levels to ensure the reform objectives are achieved.