No foster care crisis: Finn

ACTING Child Safety Minister Simon Finn yesterday denied an Opposition claim that Rockhampton is in the grip of a foster care crisis.

But the Government, which has launched a new recruitment campaign for foster parents, admits it needs many more people to care for more than 8000 children across the state who are in desperate need of a safe and loving family.

LNP Child Safety spokeswoman Tracy Davis earlier named Rockhampton as one of the places in Queensland to be worst hit by a crisis in the foster care system.

She said previous Right To Information revelations showed in Rockhampton South there were 154 children in care, but just 56 registered carers.

“This 20-year-old Labor Government has lost control of Queensland’s most vulnerable children and young people who have been abused and neglected,” she said.

The Opposition alleges that hundreds of foster and kinship carers have walked away in frustration because of the government’s bungled administration of its policies.

But the Government says the latest figures for Rockhampton show there are 154 carers for 311 children and young people and points to an improving ratio.

“The LNP is using statistics from 2009 which are a grossly inaccurate reflection on the current situation,” Mr Finn said.

“There is no crisis.

“As the Child Safety budget grows, we’re able to reach out and help more people, and it’s the unselfish work of foster carers which provides a safe and loving home to our most vulnerable children.

“The Foster a Child, Foster a Future campaign we launched last week aims to find more carers, and it would be far more productive if the LNP showed bi-partisan support instead of issuing inaccurate and damaging statements.”

Prospective carers should visit Foster a Future to see guide to becoming a foster parent.

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