350 Jobs in Jeopardy as Kenmore-Based Churches of Christ Withdraws From Government Contracts

Around 350 people working for Kenmore-based Churches of Christ could lose their jobs in the wake of its decision to cancel its government contracts to provide care to children who have not been placed with foster carers.

Despite its longstanding relationship with the Queensland Government, Churches of Christ announced its withdrawal from its contracts during a video-conference held on Tuesday, 27 June 2023. Concerns about funding prompted the decision, raising alarm among advocates who fear that other organisations may follow suit.

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Despite cancelling its government contract for care services, Churches of Christ will continue to provide foster and kinship care services. In the coming months, all staff members will remain employed as Churches of Christ assists the government in transitioning the care to another provider that is yet to be determined.

Although the exact number of individuals at risk of losing their jobs is uncertain, the spokeswoman for one of Queensland’s largest child protection services gave assurances that no redundancies have been made thus far. 

However, she regretfully disclosed that the organisation had notified both their staff and the State Government of their intent to transition out of youth residential, supported independent living services, and family support services. She explained that this difficult decision was commercially necessary.

Tom Allsop, Executive Director of child safety advocate group PeakCare, warned that the financial viability concerns in the child and family sector could lead to the departure of numerous organisations if immediate action is not taken.

He said that the insufficient funding for these sectors, unable to keep pace with rising service costs, poses a threat to the continuation of services. 

Allsop stressed that if the funding crisis is not adequately addressed, it could result in the collapse of the non-government child and family care sector in Queensland, jeopardising the well-being of vulnerable children and causing significant job losses.

Published 30-June-2023