Child protection legislation reform

Changing our laws to keep Queensland children safe

Discussion paper — Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families

Contemporary child protection laws are an important part of the Supporting Families Changing Futures reform program to ensure children and young people are safe, protected and supported to reach their full potential.

We are considering further changes to the child protection legislation to continue building a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families. A discussion paper, Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families (PDF, 636 KB) Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families (DOCX, 2.4 MB) has been developed, proposing a number of options for changes to the legislation in the three focus areas:

  • Reinforcing children’s rights in the legislative framework
  • Strengthening children’s voices in decisions that affect them
  • Reshaping the regulation of care

Public consultation on the discussion paper was open from 25 July 2019. Following a three-week extension to the consultation period, submissions closed on 27 September 2019. The Queensland Government is considering the results of consultation and how these may support a stronger legislative framework for the child protection and family support system.

 

Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 changes

The final stage of amendments commenced on 29 October 2018.

A comprehensive review of the Child Protection Act 1999 (the Act), as recommended by the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry was undertaken between 2015 and 2017.

The Queensland Parliament passed the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017, to progress priority changes to the Child Protection Act.

We are now considering further changes to the child protection legislation to continue building a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families. Have your say on options for changes to the legislation proposed in the discussion paper: Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families (PDF, 636 KB) Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families (DOCX, 2.4 MB) .

Stage 1 Amendments - January 2018

On 29 January 2018, some of the changes commenced operation to allow us to provide more information to:

  • people who are, or have been, living in 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.

Stage 2 Amendments - July 2018

The second stage of amendments commenced on 23 July 2018, with changes made to:

For more information on these changes, please see the July amendments fact sheet (PDF, 270 KB) July amendments fact sheet (DOCX, 120 KB).

Stage 3 Amendments - October 2018

The third and final stage of amendments commenced on 29 October 2018. Changes that have commenced at this time relate to:

  • The safe care and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with family, community and culture including the right to self-determination and embedding of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in legislation, removal of reference to the Recognised Entity, introduction of the new concept of an independent person for a child or young person, and the ability to delegate functions and powers to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation.
  • Supporting Permanency and Stability for children, now and throughout their lives including introduction of a new permanency framework to promote timely decision-making, greater emphasis on all dimensions of permanency — relational, physical and legal aspects, stronger focus on achieving permanency goals and concurrent case planning, limitations on the use of consecutive short-term orders and the introduction of the permanent care order.
  • A contemporary information sharing framework including a greater ability for the family support system to share information and the publication of an Information Sharing Guideline by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
  • Transition to Adulthood including a legal requirement for transition planning to commence from 15 years of age and the extension of support eligibility up to the age of 25 for young people who have been in care.

For any questions about the legislative changes, please email the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act unit.

Child Protection Act 1999 consultation report (May 2017)

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 (PDF, 392 KB) consultation report (DOCX, 299 KB) provides more information about the findings from the public consultation.

Resources