Evaluating the child protection reforms

We're on a 10-year reform journey to improve Queensland's child protection system. The reforms are based on recommendations from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

The reform environment

The Queensland Government is transforming the state's child protection system to help families care for their children and make Queensland the safest place in Australia to raise a child.

These improvements are being made through the Supporting Families Changing Futures Reform Program.

The 10-year reform journey began in 2014, with government and non-government sectors (including peak bodies, service providers and communities) working together to:

  • build a new child and family support system with a greater focus on supporting families to provide a safe home for their children
  • deliver the best outcomes for all Queensland children and their families
  • shape a more accountable, transparent and cost-effective child protection system for Queensland.

Visit our Child protection reform journey page to learn more about the 10-year roadmap, what’s been achieved so far and how you can help.

Find out more about the recommendations the QFCC is responsible for from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

Reform evaluation

There are a number of performance monitoring and evaluation activities associated with the Queensland child protection reform program.

Agencies and organisations that deliver services to children, young people and families collect data on these services. Some agencies are also responsible for evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of services and initiatives they deliver. 

The Queensland Family and Child Commission is responsible for leading evaluations of the reform program at the program-level, that is, evaluating the whole program rather than its individual components. Program-level evaluations will collect new data to supplement existing monitoring and evaluation data collected by other agencies and organisations when assessing progress towards achieving reform objectives. 

Multiple program-level evaluations will be conducted throughout the 10-year lifespan of the reform program (2014-2024). The scope of program-level evaluations will change, as complementary human service reform programs and reviews are introduced which also aim to improve outcomes for children, young people and families by strengthening the child protection and family support system. The focus of each program-level evaluation will depend on program maturity, availability of data and the broader reform context at different evaluation time points.

Implementation Evaluation (2014-2017)

Our first evaluation focussed on how the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry reforms have been implemented across the first three years. Some of the key findings include:

  • The reform program introduced considerable changes to the child and family support system, and early evidence suggests that new policies, practices and services are functioning as intended. We need to stay on course and continue working together to embed the changes and allow time for the benefits to be realised.
  • The continuing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families in the child protection system is an ongoing concern that requires additional attention.

The QFCC will continue to work closely with our partners to understand the evaluation findings and use them to improve practice. Reform partners must work together to ensure the evidence needed to assess outcomes and impacts is being collected and shared.

Our future program-level evaluations will focus on how the outcomes of the reform program are being achieved.

To learn more about the implementation of the reform program, the full report and a short summary report can be found below:

As part of our work evaluating the Child Protection Reform Program, we conducted place-based studies in five locations across Queensland, including Cloncurry, Redlands/Wynnum, Rockhampton, Roma and Thursday Island (Waiben).

The purpose of these studies was to hear from local partners about how the reform program is being implemented in these locations, and to learn about early evidence of what's working for children, young people and families, and why.

This information has helped us to understand the implementation of the reform program in certain locations. The learnings will also allow the QFCC and reform partners to continue reflecting on the progress we are making in ensuring that Queensland children and young people are cared for, protected, safe and able to reach their full potential.

You can view the summaries of the key findings for each location below: