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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 2036 asked in the Legislative Council on 20 March 2019 by Hon Tjorn Sibma

Question Directed to the: Leader of the House representing the Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services
Minister responding: Hon S.F. McGurk
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Question

For each of the last five calendar years 2014 - 2018 (inclusive), can the Minister please advise:
(a) the number of applications for temporary foster care, protection orders (special guardianship), adoption, and any other formal care arrangements, and the number of applications which were approved by the department;
(b) the number of applications for categories of care arrangements (which were subsequently approved by the department) which originated from the following groups of people:
(i) male-female couples;
(ii) same-sex female couples;
(iii) same-sex male couples;
(iv) single adult females; and
(v) single adult males; and
(c) the reasons why any such applications for care arrangements submitted by the groups of people (i-v) listed above were not approved by the department?

Answered on 7 May 2019

(a) It is unclear from the question as to whether the Member is requesting to know how many people apply and/or how many people are approved as foster carers and/or how many children are involved in each category. If the Member has a question about a particular issue I would encourage him to ask a specific question and I will endeavour to answer it.

(b) The Department of Communities (Communities) can only report a breakdown of the current carer, adoption applicant and special guardianship order household composition on a specified date. Information as at 4 April 2019 is provided below. 

 Gender and age of foster carer householders is reportable but relationships are not and cannot necessarily be assumed.  For example, a household comprised of two adult males may be a same sex couple or may be a single adult male residing with a close male relative.  Relationship status is documented on individual case files and it would impose a significant administrative burden on Communities to source this data.

            (i) On 4 April 2019 there were 1,388 family foster carer households with the following composition:

  • 781 households with two or more adults
  • 562 single adult female households, and
  • 45 single adult male households.

         (ii) On 4 April 2019 there were 973 general foster carer households (648 managed by Communities and 325 managed through community sector organisations) with the following composition:

  •  692 households with two or more adults
  • 267 single adult female households, and
  • 14 single adult male households.

       (iii) On 4 April 2019 there were 61 local and inter-country adoption applicants with the following composition:

  • 59 households with two or more adults
  • 1 single adult female household, and
  • 1 single adult male household.

        (iv) On 4 April 2019 there were 760 children on special guardianship orders with the following composition:

  • 332 households with two or more adults
  • 368 in single adult female households, and
  • 21 single adult male households.
  • 39 children did not have the carer recorded on Communities’ client information system.  This information is only available on individual case files. 

(c) Communities does not collect data about reasons why applications for care are not approved, by the criteria defined at part (b) (i) – (v).