CHILDREN IN CARE —
522. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Leader of the House
representing the Minister for Child Protection:
I refer to children in the care of
the CEO of the Department of Communities. How many children are in the care of
the CEO whose whereabouts are currently unknown?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
As at 19 May 2020, 14 young people
were in the care of the chief executive officer whose whereabouts were recorded
as unknown. Department of Communities staff are actively seeking to locate each
of these young people. The department works to keep children safe and connected
within their families whenever possible. When that is not possible, children
are placed in a variety of different care options depending on their needs.
Changes may occur for various reasons, such as carer availability,
identification of a family carer, moving the child to be closer to family
members and enhancing opportunities for cultural connection, preparing for
reunification or to better meet the complex needs of the child. In a small
number of cases, children in care will choose to leave placements to assert
their own choices about where they will live. When a person has chosen to live
with people or family in an arrangement that has not been endorsed by the
department, and has been located by the case worker, an assessment is arranged
as a matter of priority. Young people living in unendorsed arrangements are still
in the care of the chief executive officer. Their safety and wellbeing is
monitored by their case worker and they are able to access all the same
supports as other people in the care of the chief executive officer.