The Queensland Family and Child Commission is a statutory body charged with significant responsibilities to review and improve the systems that protect and safeguard our children.
The Family and Child Commission Act 2014, states that our responsibilities are to:
- Promote the safety, wellbeing and best interests of children and young people;
- Promote and advocate for the responsibility of families and communities to protect and care for children and young people; and
- Improve the child protection system.
Our role is to influence systemic change to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young
people by driving accountability, raising awareness, amplifying voices and advocating for change.
The QFCC has a vision that every Queensland child is loved, respected and has their rights upheld.
We believe that for Queensland to achieve this vision, we need a future where:
- Queensland has a world-class system for protecting the rights, safety and wellbeing of children and their families.
- Queensland has an awareness of the issues experienced by children and their families and supports solutions to address them.
- Queensland acts on the views of children and their families.
- There is shared leadership for the rights, safety and wellbeing of children across Queensland.
- Queensland has an effective and respected family and child commission.
To do this, we must:
- Ensure systems are accountable for the impact they have on children and families.
- Raise awareness and advocate for children and their families.
- Empower Queensland children and their families to influence decisions that affect their lives.
- Support, connect and collaborate with organisations that advance the rights, safety and wellbeing of children.
- Build our capacity, capability and culture to achieve our vision.
While being committed to:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families
- The advancement of child rights.
These commitments are prominent in everything we do.
Alignment with government objectives
We have a track record of drawing attention to issues regarding child wellbeing; raising community awareness; and encouraging positive action by governments, service providers and others.
Our strategies and activities support the government’s ‘Backing our frontline services’ objective to deliver world-class services in key areas that affect children and their families.
Child Protection Commission of Inquiry
The Queensland Government established the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (the Commission of Inquiry) on 1 July 2012 to review if the Queensland child protection system was best supporting vulnerable children and young people. The Commission of Inquiry was led by the Honourable Tim Carmody QC.
The Commission of Inquiry was charged with:
- reviewing the entire child protection system, and making affordable, sustainable, deliverable and effective recommendations for legislative and operational reforms
- charting a roadmap for achieving a new child protection system over the next decade.
Commission of Inquiry findings and final report
The Commission of Inquiry released its final report — Taking Responsibility: Taking Responsibility: A Road Map for Queensland Child Protection (PDF, 11.1MB) to the Queensland Government in July 2013.
Although a lot of hard work, good intentions, and large amounts of money were invested since 2000, the Commission of Inquiry found that the Queensland child protection system didn't ensure the safety, wellbeing and best interests of children as best it could. The 3 reasons identified for this were:
- More money needed to be spent on early intervention to support vulnerable families.
- A widespread risk-adverse culture that focuses too heavily on coercive instead of supportive strategies and overreacts to (or over compensates for) hostile media and community scrutiny.
- A tendency from all parts of society to shift responsibility onto (the department of) Child Safety.
The Commission of Inquiry also found that over the past decade:
- child protection intakes have tripled
- the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care has tripled
- the number of children in out-of-home care has more than doubled
- children in care are staying there for longer periods
- the budget for child protection services has more than tripled, going from $182.3 million in 2003–04 to $773 million in 2012–13.
Child Protection Reform Roadmap
The Commission of Inquiry's report had 121 recommendations and included the Child Protection Reform Roadmap (the roadmap), which detailed how the reform process should be actioned.
The roadmap groups the recommendations into actions under 3 strategies:
- Reduce the number of children and young people in the child protection system.
- Revitalise child protection frontline services and family support, breaking the intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect.
- Refocus oversight on learning, improving and taking responsibility.
The goals of the roadmap are:
- For parents and families to protect and care for their children.
- Where there are no acceptable alternatives, children and young people are taken into care and protected and cared for.
The Commission of Inquiry saw that strong collaborative partnerships between the government and the non-government sector was needed to action the roadmap:
"Implementing the roadmap should not be the responsibility of Child Safety alone.
All agencies providing human services must take responsibility for child protection outcomes. The roadmap includes designated activities to be performed by other government agencies and the non-government sector."
The Queensland Government considered the merits and impacts of each recommendation and released its response to the report in December 2013 (Queensland Government response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry final report (PDF, 634KB)). The Queensland Government accepted 115 of the Commission's recommendations in full and the remaining 6 recommendations in-principle.
The Queensland Government committed $406 million in new funding over the 5 years from 2014-15 to 2018-19 to implementing the Commission of Inquiry child protection reforms.
The QFCC was established as part of Recommendation 12.3 of the Commission of Inquiry and is responsible for implementing a number of the Inquiry’s recommendations, including:
- Social marketing campaign - 'Talking Famillies'
- Resources and information
- Community services directory
- Cultural change plan
- Workforce Planning and Development Strategy
- Capacity Building and Governance Strategy
- 3-year rolling research program
- Evaluation Framework