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Million Dollar Babies

October 3, 2012 permalink

A private foster contractor in Australia can charge up to a million dollars a year to care for four children. The Australian dollar is within 2 percent of the US or Canadian dollar.



Queensland's most expensive kids - foster care costs reach up to $1 million a year

FOSTER care costs are continuing to rise, with data showing the price of housing four children in one home costs Queensland taxpayers $1 million a year.

And there are nearly 100 such kids, all in state care, living in the Beenleigh district alone.

The true cost of housing children taken from their families was exposed this morning at the Child Protection Inquiry, now hearing evidence in Beenleigh.

The inquiry has heard that since the decline of institutional care up to $140 million a year is spent to accommodate children removed from their parents, with some kids cared for in motel rooms.

This morning the inquiry heard children are often housed in suburban homes with round-the-clock care provided by people not necessarily qualified as social workers.

A private company contracted by the State Government to run such homes, said the costs to house four children can run up to $1 million a year.

Costs can escalate via repeated police visits. In one example, a house in the Beenleigh district received 149 police visits in six month.

The inquiry also heard a case study of one child, who cannot be placed with a foster family because of behavioural issues, was costing the state up to $345,000 a year to house.

Commissioner Tim Carmody is closely questioning Antoine Payet, regional director for the south east region in Child Safety, on the housing system.

Mr Payet said up to 98 children in his district alone are unable to be placed with foster care families.

The inquiry continues.

Source: Telegraph (Australia)