"If payment was promised, it should be paid."

About: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

(as a carer),

Child Safety agreed in family group meetings, via phone and during monthly meetings to reimburse us for a certain amount of daycare fees and some medical expenses required as part of our child's treatment plan. Child safety very happily endorsed the treatment plan, however after we incurred the cost of the treatment and daycare, they have refused to reimburse us. We incurred those costs relying on their promise to reimburse. Now that we are seeking Guardianship, the Department are refusing to meet the medical needs of the child- we think because they believe that they can avoid responsibility for these costs and pass them to us instead. As the Department fail to return my calls, or reduce their promises to writing (other than what appears in the case plan) we are left in a position where we are being pushed into making significant financial sacrifices in order to become guardians.

I would like to know how Child Safety can promise reimbursement thereby inducing us to pay for items we can't afford, acting in reliance on their word, and then refusing to make good when it comes time for reimbursement. It is ultimately the children that miss out and I worry that it is precisely this sort of unethical behaviour (combined with their failure to achieve basic communication) that results in the scarce availability of Foster and Kinship carers.

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Responses

Response from Wayne Briscoe, Strategy, Engagement and Communication, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Dear Guardianship

Thank you for providing this information. Whilst I am unable to comment on this matter due to confidentiality issues, departmental officers are eager to work through the concerns that have been raised to achieve a better outcome.

I would like to invite you to contact Ms Sharon Khan, Acting Senior Advisor, Child Safety, Brisbane Regional Office, should you wish to discuss these issues further. Ms Khan can be contacted on phone 3109 7007.

Kind regards

Wayne

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