Affordability hitting foster carers

A PEAK social welfare body says they are losing valuable foster carers across Central Queensland because of a lack of affordable rental properties.

Central Queensland has been hit hard with the resources boom pushing up property prices and simultaneously pushing out locals and much needed social workers.

Anglicare provided details to APN Newsdesk that showed the Central Queensland-branch lost two foster carers due to housing restraints in 2011 and three for other reasons, including work elsewhere.

So far in 2012, the agency has lost one foster carer because they were unhappy with the "change in the feel of the town" and the real estate cash-grab mentality.

Another two carers have their house on the market and plan to move from the area.

It is understood one carer in the area is about to become "unapproved" because he is couch surfing and can't find a house to live in.

Anglicare confirmed one carer had their placement availability reduced because the carer could not find departmental housing that was large enough.

A baby has been placed into the care of that person but due to the housing constraints, the baby's siblings had to be placed with another carer.

Anglicare Central Queensland chief executive Dr Philip Shade said they were having trouble recruiting replacement foster carers.

"Some of our own staff have had to leave town," he said.

The 2012 Anglicare Central Queensland Rental Affordability Snapshot released this week found Gladstone to be the least affordable town for those on low incomes with houses and townhouses fetching a median advertised price of $707 per week.

Apartments were marginally cheaper with a weekly median rental of $536.

In Rockhampton median weekly rents were $375 for houses and townhouses and $275 per week for apartments.



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