Child Safety Legislation reform
The Queensland Government is building a new child protection and family support system to meet the needs of children, young people and families, now and into the future.
As part of the Supporting Families Changing Futures reform program, contemporary child protection laws are needed to ensure children and young people are safe, protected and supported to reach their full potential.
Following public consultation on the review of the Child Protection Act 1999, the Queensland Parliament passed the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 in October 2017, to progress priority changes to the Child Protection Act. These changes will:
- provide permanency and stability for children, now and throughout their lives, including support when they leave care
- provide the safe care and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with their families, communities and cultures
- establish a contemporary information sharing framework focused on children’s safety and wellbeing
- support implementation of other key reforms under the Supporting Families Changing Futures program.
Please refer to the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 for more information on the priority changes to be made to the Child Protection Act.
The changes to the legislation will commence in stages over the next 12 months.
On 29 January 2018, some of the changes commenced operation to allow the department to provide more information to:
- people who are, or have been, living in out-of-home care
- a parent or guardian, if a deceased child was subject to a child protection order
- the police, if an investigation is being conducted following a child’s death
- child welfare authorities in other jurisdictions to respond to child protection concerns.
These changes include the establishment of the Time in Care Information Access Service.
Further changes to the child protection legislation will commence on a date to be fixed by proclamation.
For any questions about the legislative changes, please email the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act unit on [email protected]
Supporting families changing futures
On 7 September 2018, the Queensland Government released the Supporting Families Changing Futures: 2018 Update, a progress report of the child protection and family support reform program.
The report outlines what has been achieved and is yet to be achieved, the actions that will be undertaken in 2018-19 and the proposed direction for the following five years. Read the report here (PDF). or RTF.
You can also subscribe to the Supporting Families Changing Futures monthly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest progress and news about the reforms.
Child Protection Act 1999 public consultation
The review of the Child Protection Act 1999 commenced in September 2015 to identify the role and purpose of the legislation in improving opportunities and life outcomes for children, young people and families in contact with the child protection system.
Between September 2015 and December 2016, public consultation was held across Queensland through community forums, written submissions, meetings, focus groups and small group sessions to identify the priority changes needed to keep children and young people safe and able to reach their full potential, and to support families and communities to safely care for their children.
Through this consultation, we found that Queensland’s child protection legislation is generally operating well, however, priority amendments and opportunities for broad legislative reform were identified.
The final consultation report provides more information about the findings from the public consultation.
Family and Child Connect
Community-based services, known as Family and Child Connect, were rolled out across Queensland in 2015 to support families who are at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system to get them back on track, before their problems escalate.
Families who find themselves in need of support can contact Family and Child Connect themselves for assistance. Where professionals (such as teachers, health workers and police) and members of the community have concerns about a child’s wellbeing, they can refer the family to Family and Child Connect for information, advice, and engagement instead of Child Safety.