Two new agencies are opening in Queensland to protect youth following the Child Protection Commission of inquiry.
Two new agencies have been launched to improve Queensland’s child protection system.
It comes a year after an inquiry found the system was under significant stress and less than a week after a coroner ruled on the shocking death of an eight-year-old girl in north Queensland.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie opened the Office of the Public Guardian advocacy hub in South Brisbane on Tuesday, one of three across the state.
It will work to protect the rights of children and young people in out-of-home care, foster care, kinship care and residential care, and vulnerable adults who have impaired capacity.
The Queensland Family and Child Commission also began its work on Tuesday to oversee the child protection system, reporting directly to Premier Campbell Newman.
Mr Bleijie said the state’s child protection system had become overburdened, with children being removed from their parents at rates that overwhelmed the system.
“This government is committed to revitalising frontline services for families by enabling and supporting children to stay within the family unit, wherever possible.”
The agencies have been set up in the wake of the 2012 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, which found the system was under significant stress.
It committed to focus on more early intervention strategies and in severe cases, toddlers will be routinely considered for adoption to give them a better chance of bonding with new families.
It’s hoped the new bodies will help stop children from slipping through the cracks.
A north Queensland coroner ruled last week that neither Queensland’s Department of Child Safety nor a private agency did enough to protect a young girl, who was bashed to death by her mother.
The eight-year-old was found dead at her Cairns home after being repeatedly struck with a vacuum cleaner pole in November 2011.
The year before her death, the girl was put into foster care but returned nine days later.
The decision was made without interviewing the mother or extended family and the school, which the department relied on to monitor the child, wasn’t made aware the girl had been returned to her mother.
The inquest heard the child became “invisible” in the system, and the fact she didn’t attend school for a year went undetected despite her stepfather receiving Centrelink payments.