Back to top

Glossary - Finding out about child protection in Queensland

Abbreviations

CAO Court Assessment Order
CCR Child Concern Report
COC Court Ordered Conference
CPA Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld)
CPIU Child Protection Investigation Unit, Queensland Police Service
CSO Child Safety Officer
CSSC Child Safety Service Centre

DCS, DOCS, CSS, DCCSDS, Child Safety Services

Child Safety Services, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (we call all these things Child Safety Services)
DCPL Director of Child Protection Litigation
FGM Family Group Meeting
FIS Family Intervention Service
I & A Investigation and Assessment
IPA Intervention with Parental Agreement
LTG Long-term Guardianship
OCFOS Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor
QCAT Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
RE Recognised entity
SDM Structured Decision Making
STC Short-term Custody
TAO Temporary Assessment Order
TCO Temporary Custody Order

 

Glossary

Here are the meanings of some tricky words, in
order of A–Z.

Adjournment

Delaying a hearing or mention of a case in court for a certain amount of time. There are lots of reasons these happen but often it is because the parents and Child Safety Services cannot agree on what the next step is or because they do not have all the information they want to give to the court before it makes a decision.

Adoption

Adoption legally gives the rights and responsibilities of parenting to another person – an ‘adoptive’ parent. If this happens, then the child is ‘adopted’, and they live with a new family. This means there is no legal relationship between a child and their birth parent (or their extended family) anymore.

Affidavit

An affidavit (pronounced affy-dave-it) is a statement someone swears to be true normally by signing it in front of a professional person called a Justice of the Peace

Case plan

A case plan is a written plan for your protection and care needs. It is developed in a Family Group Meeting between Child Safety Services, you, your family and other people significant to you.

It records the goals and outcomes of ongoing intervention and includes the agreed tasks that will need to occur to meet the goal and outcomes.

Child Safety Officer

A Child Safety Officer works for Child Safety Services and will work directly with you, your family and carer to help make sure you are cared for, safe and well.

Contact

By law, contact means somebody speaking with, seeing or writing to you, including through emails and social media such as Facebook. Contact could be in any location and might happen with another adult, such as a Child Safety Officer, being there.

Court Ordered Conferences

Court Ordered Conferences (COC) are meetings held when someone doesn’t agree with Child Safety Services about the need for a Child Protection Order.

An independent chairperson runs the meeting, aiming to get everyone to agree to an outcome.

The meeting might ask questions like:

  • what are we worried about?
  • what is working well?
  • what more needs to happen?

Usually, a Court Ordered Conference will be held before the court makes a decision, unless the Court is worried someone may not be safe at a meeting. There might be more than one Court Ordered Conference while the issue is being heard.

A recognised entity will be present at a Court Ordered Conference to support the cultural needs and safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Custody

The right and responsibility to care for and make decisions about the day-to-day needs of a child. (For example, this could include how much television you watch, or which friends you can hang out with and where).

Family and Child Connect

This is a free service to help families in need of support. Family and Child Connect (FACC) works with government and non-government services within the community to help families get the right services at the right time.

Family Group Meetings

A Family Group Meeting (FGM) helps your family to develop or change a case plan, which is the main plan to explain what should be done to help keep you safe. You can go to the meeting, along with members of your family, your Community Visitor or Child Advocate, and staff from Child Safety Services. There will be a convenor, who runs the meeting and makes sure everything is prepared in advance.

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, someone from a Recognised Entity will also come along to ensure your culture is respected.

Just because a person goes to a Family Group Meeting or agrees to help develop a case plan, doesn’t mean they did anything wrong. However, the things people say in Family Group Meetings may be heard by the court, to help the court make decisions.

Guardianship

The legal responsibility for making decisions about the long-term care, wellbeing and development of a child or young person. This includes decisions about things like medical procedures and enrolment in school. Your parents will remain your guardians until a court orders another person or Child Safety Services to be your guardian.

Intensive Family Support Service

The Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS) helps vulnerable families in complex situations build their ability to care for and protect their children.

Interim custody

If a court adjourns (delays) a hearing, it can make an interim order to make sure you are looked after properly in the meantime (‘Interim’ means ‘in the meantime’).

  • an interim order made on adjournment of a court assessment order may grant temporary custody to the Chief Executive, or your parents.
  • interim child protection order made on adjournment of a child protection order can grant custody to a family member or the Chief Executive.

Placement

A placement is the place where you live when you can’t live at home with your parents.

Recognised entity

A recognised entity is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or organisation who knows about protecting children, but is separate to Child Safety Services.

Social assessment report

A social assessment report includes all types of information about you - like your history, where you live, along with the views and wishes you discussed in previous interviews. The social
assessment report also includes information and reports from Child Safety Services and includes an independent opinion on the best way to protect your best interests.

Subpoena

(Pronounced sub-peener): A subpoena is an order to give information to a court.

Last modified: 
23 December 2016