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

    Child safety injection for North Queensland

    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

    Child safety injection for North Queensland

    Child Safety in North Queensland is being bolstered with 33 additional child safety positions for the region by 2019.

    State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart welcomed the injection of staff.

    “We have already seen the new Child Safety staff in our region making a difference to vulnerable children,” Mr Stewart 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 Thuringowa Aaron Harper said he was pleased to see that the North Queensland 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 Harper said.

    Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said this year’s State Budget saw the biggest-ever funding injection to support frontline jobs for the state’s child protection system in over a decade.

    “I am really pleased to announce that an additional 33 child safety staff will be employed for the North Queensland region, and I’m proud to say 26 of those will start in 2017-18,” she said.

    Ms Fentiman said an additional $200 million investment over four years would see an extra 236 new child safety workers hit the ground in Queensland this financial year alone.

    “This will increase to 292 in 2018-19, and I am proud that it is on top of the 129 new child safety staff that have already started,” she said.

    “What this investment means is a total of 421 new child safety staff over three years for Queensland.”

    Ms Fentiman said child safety staff were some of the hardest working in the state.

    “They work tirelessly to protect Queensland’s most vulnerable children, and we must do everything we can to ensure they have the support they need to do their jobs,” she said.

    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 North Queensland 64 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 drinking 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.”

    Ms Fentiman said the latest quarterly data showed improvements, with 91.6 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 these positive indicators are before the new child safety workers hit the ground,” Ms Fentiman said.

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

    ENDS

     

    Media Contact:  Ron Goodman  0427 781 920