Keeping Queensland’s children more than safe: review of the foster care system

Child welfare Foster care Child protection Queensland
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This review was undertaken because of the tragic death of Tiahleigh Palmer, a child in foster care, and the subsequent arrest of her foster carers and their adult children.

In the same week police arrested Tiahleigh’s foster carer, they also arrested a Far North Queensland foster carer for child sex offences and possession of child exploitation material.

The Minister for Child Safety asked the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) to consider this additional case as part of this review and to identify any systemic improvements for the safety of children.

These cases are particularly distressing, as the children involved have been born into circumstances in which they have already been subjected to significant harm. When a carer is responsible for the abuse or death of a child in care, the community questions whether the system that is supposed to protect them has failed and whether the safeguards in the system are working.

These questions require answers and a determined search for what can be done to prevent tragedies like this happening again.

These are the reasons for the special focus of this report on the foster care system. The dignity of those children who have suffered in care requires it, their family and friends deserve it, and a caring and compassionate Queensland public demands it.

The QFCC has also reviewed the working with children checks/blue card system. The results of that review are reported separately.

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