Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Community Visitors and Child Advocates

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is a statutory body — independent of Government — which promotes and protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of all Queenslanders. The OPG runs a community visitor program for children in out-of-home care, which seeks to ensure they are safe and well and all their needs are being met in line with the standards of care. In addition, the OPG provides child advocacy which gives vulnerable children an independent voice, ensuring their views are taken into consideration when decisions are made that affect them.

Community Visitors

Children and young people in out-of-home care may be visited by the Community Visitor Program. Each young person is assessed based on the various circumstances of their lives and a visiting frequency may be implemented ranging from monthly to annually. If the child or young person is in a stable placement they may be assessed as not requiring visits. However, all children and young people in out-of-home care, even those not visited on a regular basis, may request a visit from the Community Visitor at any time.

Most children and young people entering or re-entering care will be visited by a Community Visitor so that their needs can be assessed and any support or advocacy can commence if required. If the child or young person settles into the placement, the visiting frequency may decrease or visits may cease all together. However, if the child or young person’s circumstances change, visits may recommence or increase. They child or young person’s view in relation to the visiting schedule will also be considered.  Children and young people in visitable sites, such as detention centres, residential care, metal health facilities and boot camps will be visited on a monthly or more frequent basis.

Child Advocates

The Child Advocates compliment the work of the Community Visitors. The Child Advocates protect the rights of children and young people in the child protection system, particularly in a legal context. Children and young people can contact a child advocate to get advice and support in situations that may affect their care arrangements.  The Child Advocate can assist the child or young person in a tribunal or court matter and support them in a Family Group Meeting.

The child visiting and advocacy function of the OPG can be contacted by phone on 1800 661 533, by text message to 0418 740 186 and by email at child@publicguardian.qld.gov.au.

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