Call for Cape welfare trial to help reunite families

Call for Cape welfare trial to help reunite families

Indigenous leader Noel Pearson says he would like to see the Cape York welfare reform trial in far north Queensland play a bigger role in bringing children in state care back to their families.

Mr Pearson met Queensland Indigenous Affairs Minister Glen Elmes yesterday to discuss the future of the scheme.

The State Government is yet to commit to the trial beyond 2014.

Mr Pearson says the number of Indigenous children in the child protection system is a huge problem.

“Reuniting families, bringing children back from the child protection system,” he said.

“I want to see the FRC [Family Responsibilities Commission] play a role in restoring children back to functional families.

“It is a very distressing state of affairs when scores and scores of children are not living with their own families in their own community.”

Mr Pearson says talks centred on how the trial might be expanded.

“Now that we’ve got a trial and it’s worked, how would you scale the thing up so that other communities could be covered by these reforms?” he said.

“That requires consideration about how do you scale up something like the FRC.”


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