Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Matters of concern

Graphs

Number of children subject to a matter of concern, by Indigenous status, Queensland, 2009-10 Number of children subject to a matter of concern, by Indigenous status, Queensland, 2012-13

Matter of concernIndigenousNon-Indigenous
CPCR 217 312
MOC Notification 301 388
MOC Substantiation 90 100

Tables

DescriptionAnnualQuarterly
MOC.1: Matters of concern, by Indigenous status, Queensland Excel (XLS, 48 KB) Excel (XLS, 47 KB)
MOC.2: Matters of concern, by sex, Queensland Excel (XLS, 47 KB) Excel (XLS, 46 KB)
MOC.3: Matters of concern, by age group, Queensland Excel (XLS, 49 KB) Excel (XLS, 47 KB)
MOC.4: Children subject to substantiated matters of concern, by most serious harm type, Queensland Excel (XLS, 44 KB) Excel (XLS, 43 KB)
MOC.5: Proportion of children in out-of-home care who were subject to a matter of concern substantiation, Queensland Excel (XLS, 44 KB) Excel (XLS, 43 KB)

What is a matter of concern?

A matter of concern is any concern raised in relation to the care of a child in an out-of-home care placement in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive and placed in accordance with Section 82(1) of the Child Protection Act 1999, where a breach of the standards of care is indicated.

An alleged breach of a standard of care is recorded as either a:

  • Child Placement Concern Report – when the information indicates that there has been inadequate or poor quality care of a child in out-of-home care that fails to meet the standards of care, but does not meet the threshold for a notification.
  • Notification - where the information received meets the legislative threshold of harm or risk of harm.

All matters of concern responded to by way of notification are investigated and assessed. The investigation must commence within 24 hours. 

The department has recently reviewed and replaced the policy Assessing and responding to matters of concern. In July 2013 the revised policy, Responding to concerns about the standards of care took effect, along with new procedures in the Child Safety Practice Manual. This revised policy and procedures include a change to the reporting of harm reports (previously ‘matter of concern – notifications’) and replace the child placement concern report with alternative responses to concerns about the standards of care, including conducting a standard of care review. The revised policy and procedure place a greater emphasis on identifying issues and developing solutions in partnership with either the carer and foster and kinship care service or the residential care service. The department will commence reporting on the new policy once data becomes available.

Why this topic is important

The protection of children and young people from harm is a key priority for the department. Regular monitoring and reporting on the safety and wellbeing of children in out-of-home care is critical to ensure that children remain safe and that any issues are quickly resolved.

In 2012-13, the department recorded 1,111 matters of concern. This included 491 child placement concern reports (relating to 467 children) and 620 matter of concern notifications (relating to 581 children). Of these notifications, 245 matter of concern substantiations were recorded (relating to 237 children).

The number of children subject to a matter of concern substantiation decreased by 25.0 per cent over the past year from 316 in 2011-12 to 237 in 2012-13.

Emotional harm remained the most frequent substantiated harm type. There were 161 children (67.9 per cent) subject to a matter of concern substantiation for emotional harm, 37 children (15.6 per cent) for physical harm, 31 children (13.1 per cent) for neglect, and 8 children (3.4 per cent) for sexual abuse.

The Department introduced the Responding to concerns about the standards of care policy in July 2013.  This policy differs significantly to the previous Matter of Concern policy and as a result, from July 2013 matters of concern data are not available

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.