AN inquiry into child protection received submissions in Ballarat yesterday, hearing an emotional account of the challenges faced by foster parents. Scotsburn man Paul Auchettl made a verbal submission to the state government’s Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, calling for a change in attitudes and processes related to out-of-home care. Mr Auchettl and his wife Cathy have cared for more than 50 children over 17 years as foster parents. They currently have four children in their care. Addressing the inquiry, chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Philip Cummins, Mr Auchettl said the welfare system continued to fail young Victorians. “The sad reality is children often leave care with more problems than when they came in.” He said foster parents continued to struggle as different government departments and agencies failed to communicate with one another. Pointing to education and carers allowances as key issues for reform, Mr Auchettl said the departments of education and human services should work together to care for children. “This is the biggest hurdle I have found,” he said. The inquiry was established by the Baillieu government to investigate systemic problems in the state’s child protection system. It will make recommendations to strengthen and improve the protection and support of vulnerable young Victorians, including on how to stop abuse and neglect.The inquiry will hand its report to Parliament by November 4.