No crisis in out-of-home care

Churches of Christ Care, one of the state’s leading providers of out-of-home care, is calling for calm in what has become a politically charged environment.

David Swain, the organisation’s child safety Nominee, and Chief Operating Officer sums up the view of many.

“The loss of Tiahleigh Palmer was tragic, and our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends. It is also shocking to think that a foster carer family may have been involved, although we should wait for the courts to come to a verdict before making that conclusion,” Mr Swain said.

“I see the commitment of those that work in the out-of-home care sector, including those that work for the government, non-government organisations like us, and thousands of foster and kinship carers across the state. I know that for these folks the loss of a child is something that they would take very personally.”

Churches of Christ Care provides support for 870 of the states 5,200 foster and kinship carers. It has actively lobbied for, led, and/or supported changes to the out-of-home care system for many years. The organisation strongly supported the findings and subsequent recommendations of the Carmody Inquiry, established under the Newman LNP government, and then Minister Tracy Davis.

“This inquiry set the direction for major investment in prevention and early intervention with families, so that children do not need to be taken into care in the first place. It also resulted in a better focus on the way children and young people in out-of-home care are supported.

“This reform is not tinkering around the edges, it is wholesale system re-design. That sort of thing isn’t achieved overnight.  

“Unfortunately, there are those in the opposition and the media who are attempting to de-stabilise the great work that is currently underway, and who are trying to make a crisis out of a change process.

“What we are embarking on through the Child and Family reform process is too important to sabotage, whether for short-term political gain or media sensationalism. There are lives at stake, and I can tell you that far more lives will be saved through continuing with the reform process than blowing it up,” Mr Swain said.

Churches of Christ Care commends the work of the previous and current government for the work that they have done in leading reforms in out-of-home care.
There is much improvement still to be implemented, but we are certainly on the right track.

Caring for vulnerable children

Churches of Christ Care provides foster and kinship care services including out-of-home care and family support services. Our programs support more than 3,700 children and young people each year and we currently have more than 870 foster carers.

Churches of Christ Care works closely with the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to recruit, screen and train foster carers, who are continually monitored, supported and re-assessed every one to two years. Foster carers are required to have a Working with Children Check through the Office of the Public Guardian.

Churches of Christ Care provides ongoing support and monitoring of carers in their programs and values the work that they do in selflessly opening their hearts and homes to help children in the greatest of need.

Stringent monitoring and assessment procedures are in place to support the safety of children. All carers regularly undergo rigorous checks to ensure their ongoing suitability for the roles in which they are entrusted.

Churches of Christ Care works with the government and other relevant agencies to ensure that the care provided across all services, from caring for young people in early childhood centres to providing safe housing and care for the elderly is of the highest standards.  

With a reputation for advancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of individuals, families and communities Churches of Christ Care are continuously looking for ways to improve the quality of the services they provide.


Posted September 23, 2016 in News