Ice addiction, DV spike leads to more CQ children in crisis
ONE in three children in need of protection in the past year had a parent using ice.
This, along with the escalating figures in domestic violence orders and offences, has lead to the largest funding injection in child safety in a decade, according to Keppel MP Brittany Lauga.
"The growing prevalence of ice use among families and escalating reporting of domestic and family violence meant additional support was needed for Central Queensland parents grappling with complex issues around violence and ice addiction,” she said.
"Alarmingly, one in three children found to be in need of protection in the past year had a parent who was using ice.”
Ms Lauga said the funding in the 2017 State Budget meant almost 300 new child safety frontline and frontline support staff would be hired over the next two years.
"Importantly, this includes creating senior Child Safety Officer positions that provide career progression for our valued, frontline child safety staff so experienced officers stay working directly with families on the frontline and are able to mentor new staff,” she said.
Ms Lauga said an additional $200 million investment over four years meant an extra 236 new child safety workers would hit the ground this coming financial year, increasing to 292 in 2018-19.
"This is on top of 129 new child safety staff that commenced in 2016-17 - a total of 421 new child safety staff over three years,” she said.
Mrs Lauga said theinvestment would fund the extra staff, bringing down caseloads, improving practice and support to children, parents and carers.
"That's why we are investing $7.4 million over three years to help families struggling with an addiction to ice,” she said.
"We want to make sure support is there for families so they can get the facts, develop strategies and find out where to access help and support.
"This significant investment brings our total budget for Child and Family Services to over $1.1 billion for 2017-18 and places Queensland's child protection system on a sustainable path.”
The 2017-18 budget boosts investment in child safety over the next four years, and includes:
- $62.9 million for the creation of 50 new senior child safety officers and 68 child safety officers.
- $16.2 million for the creation of 40 new child safety support officer positions to provide more dedicated support to children living in out of home of care.
- $10.6 million for the creation of 40 new administration officers positions to work on the frontline in Child Safety Service Centres to support front line workers.
- $10.3 million for the creation of 20 new Child Safety Senior Team Leaders positions to improve supervision and ensure experienced workers are on hand to work with staff on complex cases.
- $7.8 million for an additional 20 child safety staff to form a relief pool to backfill for staff on leave.
- $3.7 million for an additional seven child safety staff to form mobile, specialist practice teams
- $5.5 million to increase Intensive Family Support service, and
- $2.2 million to support child safety staff working in the community.