Dozens of foster Victorian children housed in hotels and motels

Major shortages of foster families led to dozens of Victorian children being placed in hotels, motels and serviced apartments. The widespread use of ’emergency placements’ means that young people at risk are cared for by ward staff in adjoining rooms.

Victoria’s Children and Young People’s Commission concluded that 57 children occupied these places in 2018-19, but the problem has since worsened.

Opposition child protection and juvenile justice spokesman Matt Bach said the establishment was having a devastating impact on the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Some of the most vulnerable children in our state are not getting the care and support they need, either through foster care or in residential care units in the community,” he said. declared.

“Again. the care and health of some of Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens, our children, are suffering.

Camera iconThere are significant shortages of foster homes in Victoria. Credit: News Regional media

Mr Bach said the increase in emergency placements was an indicator of the functioning of the reception system as a whole.

“They are the most traumatized kids in our state. They have huge physical health needs, mental health needs – they need a therapeutic response… you can’t get that if you’re jumping for weeks between hotel rooms,” he said. declared.

“The system is not working, the system is broken.”

Emergency placements cost Victorian taxpayers $43 million a year.

However, Child Protection and Family Services Minister Colin Brooks said that compared to other states and territories, Victoria’s reception system was working efficiently.

“Victoria has the lowest per capita rate of children in care outside of any state and territory in the country,” he said.

“As a last resort, children fall into situations where there is a safety issue. And so, putting these kids in an emergency arrangement is really about finding a better location.

NSW experienced a similar problem earlier this year when it was reported that up to 30 children needed emergency accommodation each night on Sydney’s northern beaches alone.