Serious questions are now being asked about Queensland’s foster care system, after the murder of Logan schoolgirl, Tiahleigh Palmer. Child safety organisation Bravehearts labelled the case as “horrific” but hopes some good can come from the tragedy.
Toby Crockford reports.
Outside the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston paid tribute to the persistence of police.
Hetty Johnston, Bravehearts Founder: “How lucky we are to have a police force in Queensland who just never give up, they’ve been incredibly tenacious.”
But she wasn’t as complimentary about the child protection system.
Hetty Johnston, Bravehearts Founder: “That this can happen is just beyond comprehension really.”
Queensland has just 5,000 foster families to care for 9,000 vulnerable young people and it’s feared this case will put even more stress on an already stretched system.
One of Tialeigh’s former foster carers expressed his support for the girls biological mother, Cindy.
Cameron Pemberton, Tiahleigh’s Former Foster Carer: “We’ll be here to support Cindy the whole way through, through the courts and everything else.”
The government says it will review the approval process for foster carers and checks made on people working with children.
But the opposition isn’t convinced.
Ros Bates, Shadow Minister for Child Safety: “The minister needs to come out and assure people in Queensland that the Department of Child Safety is not in crisis.”
It’s hoped lessons will be learned from this case and contribute to keeping other children safe.
Toby Crockford, QUT News.