Back to top

Final reports from the Foster Care and Blue Card Systems review

On 21 September 2016, the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) was asked to ‘undertake a whole of system review of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 and its operation. Working with an Expert Panel, we were asked to pay particular attention to the use and reliance on Working with Children Checks (Blue Cards) and other information in the assessment and approval process for foster carers in Queensland. In addition, under the Terms of Reference a separate review was conducted to address capacity issues and pressure points in child safety.

On 7 September 2017, the Queensland Premier tabled all 3 reports in Parliament and approved their release.

Review of the blue card system

Queensland’s blue card system has always been one of the strongest in Australia. Queenslanders have embraced it, and it is now an important part of our culture. However, as new risks emerge, we need to counter them to keep our children safe in future. The review found that while the blue card system is a strong foundation for creating safe environments for children, it could be stronger and more efficient.

The Review of the blue card system report makes 81 recommendations that will introduce significant changes to the blue card system. The recommendations are intended to strengthen and streamline the blue card system. They will also build capacity of, and support for, organisations and people involved in it. Ultimately, Queensland’s children will be safer doing activities that help them grow, learn and develop.

Review of the foster care system

In Queensland, the process for being approved as a foster or kinship carer is rigorous. However, we can learn from experience and we can improve. In conducting this review, the QFCC consulted with people and groups with expertise and interest in the foster care system including carers, children with a current or previous care experience, government and non-government agencies and broader community consultations.

The Review of the foster care system report makes 42 recommendations that will introduce a number of changes to the foster care system. The recommendations are intended to strengthen carer assessment, approval and renewal processes, and the safeguards for children in care. They will also help to build and maintain the public’s confidence in the foster care system. Ultimately, they will make sure that Queensland’s most vulnerable children will be provided with safe and supportive homes by a system that works together to give children the best possible future.

Strengthening capacity across Queensland’s Child Protection System

Linda Apelt, a member of the Expert Panel, was asked to undertake a review of Child Safety Services to determine whether it was operating effectively and to determine any capacity issues or pressure points which may impact the safety needs of children in the Child Protection system. The Strengthening capacity across Queensland’s Child Protection System report presents a 6 point action plan focused on funding, staffing, court reforms, non-government services, collaboration and change management.

Last modified: 
23 November 2017