Group housing for abused children costs $200 million

Group housing for abused children costs $200 million
Monday, 17 July 2017

· Housing costs of abused children in residential care across Queensland over $300,000 per child
· Taxpayers now paying more than $200 million a year for ‘warehouse’ group homes
· Labor’s only solution is to throw money at systemic problems within the child safety system

The cost of housing abused children in residential care across Queensland has skyrocketed beyond $300,000 per child, while systemic problems with the child safety system continue to worsen under Labor.

LNP Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates said Queensland taxpayers were now paying more than $200 million a year to house abused kids in “warehouse” group homes without any plans to fix the system.

“The cost of residential care is unsustainable, and something needs to change,” Ms Bates said.

“You have to ask yourself if this is the best use of taxpayers’ money and what outcomes these children are getting, especially considering the average cost of a supervisor youth worker in these share homes.

“Labor’s only solution is to throw money at these systemic problems within the child safety system, and hope for a better outcome instead of working towards solutions to help these vulnerable kids.

“The Palaszczuk Government has thrown good money after bad in an attempt to fix the system, when the real problem lies with poor management of the child safety system from a do-nothing Labor government.”

Ms Bates said figures obtained by the LNP through parliamentary questioning show the number of abused children being warehoused in group homes jumped to 704 this year, up from 647 the same time last year.

“Child safety removed these children from their families because of abuse, and Labor are pushing more of these vulnerable kids into group homes,” she said.

“Many of the children are not going to school and lack the love and care of a child in a normal home.

“These are some of the most vulnerable children in Queensland and we need to be providing them a pathway out of the child safety system instead of sticking them in a group home with little attention.

“With a record number of carers leaving the child safety system under Labor, is it any wonder more and more children are ending up in group homes?

“Only the LNP has a plan to build a better Queensland by building stronger families.”

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