We feel very honoured to be part of changing children’s lives. We are committed to the vulnerable children of Queensland whose voices are small and often unheard.
Our Objective - Advocate for Permanancy for Children in Foster Care in Queensland
This can be achieved through:
The collection and publication of the complete statistics on ‘churn’ in the foster care system.
Introduction of permanency planning legislation which is designed to stop children having multiple placements.
Making open adoption a viable option for long-term foster care children.
Recognition that childhood is fleeting and that the government’s 10 year implementation plan is a long time in a child's life.
Acknowledgement that families with complex, long-term & inter-generational issues will not respond to early intervention programs for example intergenerational drug/alcohol abuse, physical or sexual abuse. (Sammut, 2011)
Current Child Safety practices are wrongly focused on the rights of the biological parent, practices need to change to focus on the rights of the child.
All children in care receive the same quality of care, regardless of ethnic background.
Annual National Adoption Targets across Australia.
Over the past 5 years we have advocated for the right of children to grow up in a family, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding (as per the UN Convention on the Right of the Child). Cultural change within the department has been the major barrier and we've done much to build awareness and work with the department at all levels including:
We are proud of our important role in legislative changes & congratulate all involved.In 2017 QAK wrote an extensive submission to the Legislation Review of the Qld Child Protection Act, representing our partner organisations. Our submission was acknowledged for it's quality, evidence and presentation of proposed changes. This review has resulted in changes to the Child Protection Act to "provide forever homes for vulneragle Queensland kids".
QAK's role in advocating for increased permanency for children in foster care in Qld which has resulted in an 18.6% increase in permanency placements for foster care children (Guardianships to other carers orders)
QAK wrote submissions to Qld Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (aka the Carmody Inquiry) 2013 as well as the Legislation Review of the Qld Child Protection Act in 2016 and the Queensland Adoption Act in 2016.
QAK’s Options Submission for changes to the Queensland Child Safety Legislation in 2017 incorporated input from 5 other organisations including Deborra-Lee Furness’s Adoption Change to make theirs a joint submission.
In 2013 QAK held a public forum which included leading Child Advocates, Hetty Johnson and Jeremy Sammut. The then Minister for Child Safety and the current Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attended and acknowledged of the extensive public concern around permanency for foster care children.
In 2014 & again in 2017 QAK partnered with Adopt Change & Barnardos Australia (respectively) to provide professional training for parents & professionals including staff of the Department of Child Safety.
QAK has on-going discussions with the Minister (and Shadow Minister) and their advisors as well as the staff and management of the Department of Child Safety.
QAK directs research, provides information and produces training tools. For example, by using Queensland University of Technology psychology students, QAK produced a Best Interest of the Child Decision Tree (concurrency planning) and presented their work to the Qld Department of Child Safety in August 2016.
Membership in the steering committee of the ‘My Home Initiative’ and organsing a doctoral scholar to work with the department to examine outcomes of the initiative. "My Home" aims to provide a permanent home for children who are unable to live with their own families by seeking applicants who are wanting to provide permanent homes for children and might not usually consider foster care due to the instability of the placements, for example applicants on the approved adoptive parents register. The initiative is being supervised by the Adoption Services unit of the Qld Department of Chid Safety in an attempt to attain the better outcomes of adopted children for children in foster care. https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-and-renewal/child-and-family/improving-out-of-home-care-and-post-care-for-children-and-young-people