Queensland’s child death review model

On 1 July 2020, a new child death review model commenced in Queensland.

The new model:

  • requires particular agencies to conduct a review of their service provision following the death or serious physical injury of a child (known to the child protection system)
  • establishes the independent Child Death Review Board (CDRB) hosted by the QFCC and tasked to carry out systemic reviews following the death of a child connected to the child protection system.
Internal agency reviews

Agency reviews following the death or serious physical injury of a child known to the child protection system are conducted under Chapter 7A of the Child Protection Act 1999. 

The Act requires agencies (Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, the Director of Child Protection Litigation, Department of Education, Department of Youth Justice, Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health) to carry out a review where a child known to their agency dies or suffers serious physical injury. 

Reviews aim to promote the safety and wellbeing of children who come into contact with the child protection system through:

  • ongoing learning and improvement to services
  • promoting the accountability of agencies and the litigation director
  • collaboration and joint learning across the child protection system.

The Operational Guidelines – For agency reviews following the death or serious physical injury of a child ( PDF, 745.47KB) provides consistent standards for agencies to carry out reviews and to promote shared learning across the system. The guidelines were developed as a collaboration between the QFCC, the reviewing agencies and the Department of Justice and Attorney General and approved by relevant Directors-General, the Police Commissioner and Director of Child Protection Litigation.

2020-06-19 APPROVAL from Bob Gee - DYJ of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 526.2 KB)
2020-06-19 APPROVAL from Police Commissioner - QPS of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 225.41 KB)
2020-06-19 APPROVAL from Tony Cook - DoE of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 500.96 KB)
2020-06-25 APPROVAL from Deidre Mulkerin - CS of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 119.7 KB)
2020-06-25 APPROVAL from Nigel Miller- DCPL of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 359.73 KB)
2020-06-26 APPROVAL from John Wakefield QH of Operational Guidelines (PDF, 703.53 KB)
Child Death Review Board reviews

The CDRB conducts systemic reviews following the death of a child connected to the child protection system under Part 3A of the Family and Child Commission Act 2014.  

The purpose of the Board’s reviews is to identify opportunities to improve systems, legislation, policies and practices across the child protection system and preventative mechanisms to help protect children and prevent deaths that may be avoidable. 

The CDRB receives reports from each agency and the DCPL that conducted a review following the death of a child. It uses this information, research and data to make system-wide findings and recommendations. The CDRB has several functions and powers to assist them to do this.  

The CDRB procedural guidelines sets out the procedures the Board uses to complete its reviews. Recommendations are published through its annual report.