2011 Views of children and young people in foster care survey
The surveys generate a rich source of longitudinal data on children’s and young people’s placement histories, perceptions of their health, wellbeing and school, as well their views on many aspects of their care experience including their current placement and carer, having a say in decision making, support from the department, the Commission’s Community Visitors, and preparation for leaving care.
Analyses reveal that nearly all respondents continue to feel safe, treated well and happy in their placement. Data also confirm steady improvements over the years in some aspects of foster care such as decreases in reports of having unresolved health problems or difficulties at school and increases in reports of having education support plans and leaving care plans.
However, the survey findings also highlight ongoing challenges for the child protection system to provide necessary support to children and young people in care. Many continue to experience considerable instability in their lives due to numerous placement changes, do not see their Child Safety Officer as often as they would like, feel left out of decisions and do not know why they are in care. Also concerning are high levels of anxiety with more than 30% of young people and 40% of children saying that they worry a lot or all of the time. Analysis of more than 1000 comments revealed that the most common source of worry is the safety and wellbeing of their family.
Findings from the research are being used to inform policy and practice among stakeholders in the Queensland child protection system. The research also demonstrates to individual children and young people that they have an important voice in shaping the future directions and priorities within these systems.
The 2011 Views of Children and Young People in Foster Care Survey: Overview and Selected Findings is available from the Commission’s website at http://www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/resources/publications/views/Views-of-Children-and-Young-People-in-Foster-Care-Survey-2011.html
Further reports from the survey findings will be released in the coming months.
Image: report cover, 'Turtle Water', 2009 / Youth Works art program