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    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Another increase in Child Safety staff for Brisbane region

    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Friday, July 14, 2017

    Another increase in Child Safety staff for Brisbane region

    Child Safety services in the Brisbane region will receive a boost with 25 additional Child Safety staff starting work in the region in the next two years.

    This follows the three staff already employed in Brisbane over the past year, making an increase of around 28 in the last two State Budgets.

    State Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard welcomed the injection of staff.

    “We have already seen the new Child Safety staff in our region making a difference to vulnerable children,” Ms Linard said.

    “Child Safety staff already do so much incredible work, and now they will have the extra support and backup they need to ease caseloads and focus their attention on some of the most at risk children and families.”

    State Member for Sunnybank Peter Russo said he was pleased to see that the Brisbane region was able to get an early injection of resources from the Palaszczuk Government.

    “The further increases in this year’s State budget mean we can expect further improvement in the outcomes for at-risk kids,” Mr Russo said.

    Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said the new staff would support existing personnel in the region, easing caseloads and ensuring more children can be kept safe.

    “The Brisbane region received three new staff when we hired 129 additional Child Safety staff across the state in 2016-17,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “These new staff will be among almost 300 to be hired across the state over the next two years, the biggest injection of Child Safety resources in more than a decade,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “Our Child Safety workers are amazing and are out there saving lives each and every day.

    “We wanted to give them the support and extra staff they needed to do their job well and increasing the workforce of frontline workers does exactly that.”

    Ms Fentiman said additional Brisbane region staff to be employed in 2017-18 would include at least 12 full-time equivalent positions, with the remainder to be employed in 2018-19.

    “Our Child Safety staff have one of the toughest jobs in the state and they work tirelessly to protect our most vulnerable children,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “This investment of new staff is a game-changer that will make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children.”

    Ms Fentiman said Child Safety staff were dealing with increasingly complex issues as more families battled with ice addiction and domestic violence.

    “We know here in the Brisbane region 100 children were found to be in need of protection last year because they had a parent using ice,” she said.

    “We know this is a huge problem for a lot of families, with more parents known to the child protection system using ice than abusing alcohol.

    “That’s why we introduced tough new mandatory drug testing for parents who want to keep their children, and I make no apologies for being tough on parents who are doing the wrong thing.

    “Since late last year, parents have been required to undergo drug testing for any Intervention with Parental Agreement – in particular for ice use – if they want to keep their children.”

    Ms Fentiman said the latest quarterly data was showing improvements in the Brisbane region with 93.5 per cent of the most urgent cases being seen within 24 hours, compared to 90 per cent state-wide.

    “Our figures show we are tracking in the right direction and we know the new child safety workers will make a difference and drive improvements as they hit the ground,” she said.

    “These new child safety staff will help bring down caseloads and support existing staff.”

    Ms Fentiman said the addition of extra staff was part of sweeping changes that were reforming the Child Safety system.

    “We have made sure we have the frontline staff we need on the ground to help children who are at risk, and we have improved training and support for these staff,” she said.

    In the 2016-17 financial year the Palaszczuk Government employed 129 additional frontline and frontline support Child Safety staff across the state and this year’s State Budget included $200 million over four years to hire almost 300 more.

    ENDS

    Media Contact:          Ron Goodman           0427 781 920