Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Standard of care reviews and harm reports

Graphs

Number of children subject to a matter of concern, by Indigenous status, Queensland, 2009-10 Number of children subject to a standards of care review, harm report and substantiated harm report, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland, 2016-17

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

Tables

DescriptionAnnualQuarterly
SOC.1: Standards of care reviews and harm reports, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 14 KB) Excel (XLSX, 16 KB)
SOC.2: Standards of care reviews and harm reports, by sex, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 14 KB) Excel (XLSX, 16 KB)
SOC.3: Standards of care reviews and harm reports, by age group, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 14 KB) Excel (XLSX, 16 KB)
HR.1: Children subject to substantiated harm reports, by most serious harm type, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 13 KB) Excel (XLSX, 14 KB)
HR.2: Proportion of children in out-of-home care who were subject to a harm report substantiation, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 13 KB) Excel (XLSX, 14 KB)

What are standards of care reviews and harm reports?

On 8 July 2013 the department replaced its policy, Assessing and responding to matters of concern with the Responding to concerns about the standards of care policy. The revised policy places a greater emphasis on developing solutions in partnership with carers and foster and kinship care services or the residential care services if concerns have been identified about the standard of care provided to a child in their care.

When a child is in the custody or guardianship of the Chief Executive and placed in out-of-home care, the department has a responsibility to ensure they are cared for in a way that ensures their safety, belonging and wellbeing. The department works collaboratively with members of the child’s care team who share the responsibility to proactively monitor the placement and provide effective supports to the carer or care service to meet the child’s needs.

The Child Protection Act 1999, sets out the standards by which children in out-of-home care are to be cared for. These standards reflect the reasonable and widely held expectations that a child in out-of-home care should have their needs met in an accountable way.

The department must respond to concerns about the standard of care provided to a child. This can occur by:

  • continuing to monitor the standards of care, where concerns do not meet the threshold for conducting a standards of care review or harm report (i.e. not reported on)
  • conducting a standards of care review, where a child has not experienced harm.
  • recording a harm report and responding with an investigation and assessment, where a child has experienced harm or it is suspected they have experienced harm.

A standards of care review will determine whether the standards of care have been met by the care provider.

A harm report investigation and assessment will determine if a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm, and include an assessment of whether the standards of care have been met. Depending on the outcome the department, in collaboration with the kinship and foster care service or residential service, may review the carer’s suitability, the level of support available and provided to the child and/or carer, or appropriateness of the placement to meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing.

A harm report investigation must commence within 24 hours of receiving a report.

Harm report data are reported in the reference period that the harm was reported, which is not necessarily when the harm occurred (historical concerns).

A carer or staff member of a care service may be held responsible for harm occurring if their actions or inactions resulted in a child being harmed (that is, failure to protect).

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 concerns about their care are resolved.

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, it is not possible to compare standards of care review and harm reports data with matter of concern data.

For the year ending 30 June 2017, the department recorded 456 standards of care reviews relating to 432 children and 434 harm reports relating to 415 children.

A total of 165 children were subject to a harm report substantiation. By harm type, emotional harm comprised 64.8 per cent, physical harm comprised 13.9 per cent, sexual harm comprised 9.1 per cent and neglect comprised 12.1 per cent.

Is your feedback

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