Homeless girl, 12, fed KFC by child safety officers
A 12-year-old homeless girl was being fed KFC and Maccas by Child Safety officers before being admitted to the Gold Coast University Hospital for a serious back infection.
A Gold Coast Bulletin investigation this month revealed how the girl had spent 10 loving years in a foster home west of the city before being taken from the family and put into residential care.
After several failed attempts to reunite with the family, she left her resi-care home and joined a teen gang where she has been sexually assaulted and self-harmed.
Since March she has lived in a tent at a southern beach until moved on by council workers, sheltered in Surfers Paradise, camped outside the shops in Southport and slept in a public toilet at Eagleby north of the Coast.
The former choir girl wrote to her foster mother: "Love you mummy I might come back to you maby (sic). Love you. Mummy child safety don't lisan (sic) to me and help me come home aswall (sic). Child Safety lied to me please help me I don't want too (sic) go."
A friend concerned for the girl's safety, after the initial report, contacted Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates for help.
"She was supposed to have a visit every day with the Child Safety officer," the friend told Ms Bates.
"That happened Monday (last week). CSO cancelled Tuesday. Nothing happened Wednesday. The CSO bought her Maccas on Monday.
"Tuesday someone linked to the department dropped off two lots of KFC. Wednesday nothing.
A random stranger bought her KFC and somewhere else she got a cupcake."
Text messages show the girl would wake and have only a smoke at breakfast time because she was unable to get food.
Ms Bates said she contacted the hospital where the young girl was being treated for a staph infection which began six weeks ago.
The girl's friend told her: "One of the other homeless people she has been living with was covered in them. When they came to us, we got him some treatment."
The Coast MP was asked if it was possible for the hospital to assess the young girl's mental and emotional health.
The Bulletin understands Child Safety officers are attempting to talk to the young girl to warn her of the dangers of remaining on the streets.
The department has told friends the young girl was following a safety plan and had returned to placements at nights.
The Bulletin last year found it was costing up to $1.4 million a year, or $27,000 a week, for some children in resi-care as profit-hungry agencies rort the system under the watch of Child Safety.
Despite taxpayers coughing up $500,000 a year for a child in residential care, teenagers say they are left hungry - with one explaining how two brothers had to make do with a weekly budget for food of just $150.
Ms Bates said this week about the 12-year-old girl: "I was very concerned. I've made representations to the hospital. I notified them of the situation. I would like to see a SCAN team meeting between police, Child Safety and Health to come up with a solution for this child."
When contacted previously, Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the decision to remove a child from foster care was not taken lightly and only after an investigation.
"While the Department and myself can't comment on specific cases, I know Child Safety works closely with police, non-government agencies and family to support and return missing children safety to their placements including residential care as quickly as possible, even if the child or young person is in phone contact with staff," she said.
Originally published as Homeless girl, 12, fed KFC by child safety officers