Queensland Government media release

Young people in care living with a mental illness who are also struggling with drug addiction including Ice will soon have access to help and support in the one place.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said tenders were now open for Queensland’s first live-in service trial for young people in care aged under 17 experiencing complex issues.

“This service will help some of our most vulnerable children, whose lives have been devastated by mental illness and drug addiction,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Sadly there are a small number of young people in out-of-home care who are struggling with things like mental health issues and drug addiction including Ice, and they need specialised, intensive support and care to help them overcome their issues.

“Our hard-working Child Safety staff have identified a small number of young people, some as young as 12, struggling with incredibly complex issues simultaneously.

“This new service will help young people transitioning from a hospital-based mental health program into a safe and stable home environment.”

The Palaszczuk Government will invest almost $6.3 million over three years for the new Brisbane-based service, to help the most vulnerable children in out-of-home care to have the same opportunities and health outcomes as every other child.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the new service would accommodate six young people at a time, providing intensive support for their mental health and drug withdrawal and rehabilitation needs.

“This new facility is absolutely vital to ensuring these young people get the help they need, and currently there is no residential service equipped to deal with these issues,” Mr Dick said.

“We have undertaken extensive consultation with both government and non-government stakeholders to ensure we develop the best possible service that meets the needs of these young people.

“Once we have this trial service up and running, we will review its operation and hopefully it will help inform future service models.”

The new residential service is predicted to be up and running by early 2018.

Ms Fentiman and Mr Dick announced the new service at the Logan Ice Summit, which brought together community stakeholders and government agencies to develop local responses to the scourge of ice use.

Member for Logan Linus Power said the summit was an important step in tackling the harm caused by ice and other illicit drugs.

“This drug is causing serious damage to families in our community and it will take a whole community effort to stop that damage,” Mr Power said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is making a vital difference with its Action On Ice strategy across the state, and this summit has brought together the right people to identify what more can be done at a local level.”

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