Region in need of Indigenous carers for foster children
FOSTER carers, we need you.
That's what local community organisations, such as Anglicare CQ, want to balance out the ratio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and foster carers in Rockhampton.
There were about 110 foster families in Rockhampton supporting 180 children, according to Rachelle Ogden, who co-ordinated an Anglicare foster care program.
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She said there was a high number of Rockhampton Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in foster care who, sadly, were from a background of domestic violence and drug abuse.
"Many teenagers older than 14, who are fostered out, struggle... they develop their own coping and protection mechanisms," Rachelle said.
"A lot of adolescents have developed their own coping skills by being resourceful and resilient.
"They cope with things themselves; they've been through a number of years of having to fend for themselves, to find food, safety, shelter or all of those things a parent should be providing."
Rachelle and several other representatives from Rockhampton community groups attended a child protection round table forum yesterday.
The forum was to discuss local foster care issues and the overly high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the foster system.
PeakCare Queensland director Lindsay Wegener said there were three inquiries into child protection in less than 15 years.
"During that time we've seen the proportion of children in care, who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, grow from 23 to 37 and now 41%," he said.
"Past inquiries have shown the child protection system has not worked well for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. Is this going to be the subject of our next child protection inquiry?"
Foster careratio in CQ
The carer to foster children ratio in CQ: