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Views of children and young people in foster care, Queensland, 2010

  • Public Welfare
  • Families
  • Children
  • Youth
  • Education


This repeated cross-sectional longitudinal study not only captures the views and experiences of children and young people in foster care but also monitors changes in these views over time. Since the first survey was conducted in 2006 more than 9000 surveys have been completed. The surveys, administered by the Commission’s Community Visitors, generate a rich mixture of quantitative and qualitative data on children’s and young people’s perceptions of their health and wellbeing, education, current placement and carers, having a say in decision making, contact with family and community, satisfaction with Child Safety Officers (CSOs), and leaving care. Analyses of responses from 1949 children and young people who participated in the most recent survey reveal a high degree of satisfaction with placements and carers. Consistent with previous years, nearly all reported feeling safe and feel that they are listened to by their carers. The vast majority also indicated that they are happy and feel loved and cared for. Satisfaction with support from CSOs has improved significantly since the last survey with many more children and young people reporting to be happy with the frequency and nature of contact they have with their CSO. Significant increases are also evident in the proportions of children and young people reporting to have health passports and education support plans while the proportion of young people reporting to have a case plan has also increased. However, the data also point to ongoing challenges for the child protection system to provide necessary support to children and young people. For instance, a considerable number of respondents report having unmet health and educational needs while less than one in four above the age of 16 reported having a leaving care plan. Interestingly, more than half of this group expressed a preference for staying with their foster care family once they turn 18. Stability remains a critical issue with many reporting multiple placement and school changes. Despite feeling happy in their placement, around one in five young people indicated that they are worried that they will have to change placements in the coming months. Increasingly, 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.

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