Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Child Safety legislation reform

Changing our laws to keep Queensland children safe

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.

We need contemporary child protection laws as 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.

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 being made to the Child Protection Act 1999.

The changes to the legislation have commenced in stages over 2018, with the final changes to commence later this year on a date to be fixed by proclamation.

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 - To Be Confirmed

The third and final stage of amendments will commence on a date to be fixed by Governor in Council proclamation. This is expected to occur in late October 2018. Changes that will commence at this time relate to:

  • The Safe Care and Connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people including the 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.
  • Permanency including introduction of a new permanent care order, greater emphasis on the relational, physical and legal aspects of permanency, and limitations on the use of consecutive short-term orders.
  • Information Sharing including a greater ability for the family support system to share information and the publication of an Information Sharing Guideline by the Department or 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 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 (PDF, 392 KB) consultation report (DOCX, 299 KB) provides more information about the findings from the public consultation.

Download documents

Child Protection Reform Amendment Act (CPRAA) Implementation Safe Care and Connection Poster

CPRAA Implementation Permanency Poster

CPRAA Implementation Information Sharing Poster

CPRAA Implementation Transition to Adulthood Poster

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle Poster

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