It has been five years since Commissioner Tim Carmody QC handed down his findings into the child protection system in Queensland and set out a 10 year reform agenda to protect some of those most vulnerable in our communities.
Having worked with the Government through the first half of this journey we are very pleased to see a new plan for the next five years through the Supporting Families Changing Futures strategy. This strategy sees a positive shift from a focus on the systems and structures of child protection to a holistic view of families and children – highlighting the importance of a range of essential services on wellbeing, including housing, health, education, employment, connection and culture.
We know that the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the child protection systems must be addressed. We are pleased to see this highlighted in the strategy and we will continue to call for active implementation of the Family Matters principles, including ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations have control over decisions that affect them and challenging systemic racism and inequities.
As with all significant reform journeys, success will depend on building partnerships across systems and importantly across all communities in Queensland. We look forward to continuing work with the government on this. Of importance to QCOSS is a focus on place-based approaches that build on the strengths in community and takes a localised and responsive approach to supporting strong families.