Authors

Queensland Family & Child Commission

Background

The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) youth researchers, are excited to share the work we’ve been doing to identify what matters to children in out-of-home care and to work towards more positive outcomes for them.

Between the 11 of us, we have more than one hundred different placement experiences in foster care, kinship care, residential care, boarding school, supported independent living, self-placing and homelessness. Some of our experiences were positive, but most were negative.

While our experiences have been diverse, what we have in common is that we don’t want others to go through the negative things we went through—it’s as simple as that.

We want a different future for kids in care. We want a future where there isn’t such a vast difference in outcomes between kids in care and kids living at home with their parents. Where kids in care have the same opportunities as every other child in Queensland, and more kids have a positive experience in care.

We want a future where kids in care are heard when they speak up. Where they are believed, understood, and helped to solve problems and make their circumstances better. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Change will not happen unless we can pass the microphone and empower children and young people with a care experience to share their stories, experiences and hardships.

We are working on this project because we want to help kids in care say what needs to be said to the people who need to hear it. We want to hold people, and systems, to account for doing what needs to be done to make things better.

We want to lead real change. The Queensland child protection system can and must do better.

Project summary

There is a tendency, when measuring the effectiveness of programs, to assess input (resources invested) and output (for example, how many services are provided and how many people access them). While this is important information, it doesn’t measure the impact or outcomes of the services.