Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

What you can expect

When children, young people and their families work with the Child Safety Services they can expect to be treated:

  • fairly
  • without bias
  • professionally and courteously
  • with respect and understanding.

Sometimes we will need to contact a child, young person or their family. We may:

  • visit them at home
  • call them
  • arrange for them to attend an interview at a child safety service centre
  • write or email them
  • see them at a court or tribunal appearance.

This can involve:

Home visits

We may visit a family in their home for a number of reasons:

  • If we have received information in relation to child protection concerns, a child safety officer will visit the home to conduct an investigation and assessment.
  • When a family is working with our department to meet their child or young person's protection and care needs, a child safety officer or child safety support officer may visit the family home to provide intensive support and assistance to the child, young person and their family.
  • If a child or young person is not living in their family home, then a child safety officer or child safety support officer may visit the home to provide family contact for the child, young person and their family.

When we visit a home we are required to show proof of our identity and explain the reason for our visit.

Interviews in child safety service centres

Interviews may occur in a child safety service centre when we are conducting an investigation and assessment or when a family is working with our department to meet the protection and care needs of the child or young person.

  • When conducting an investigation and assessment a child safety officer will interview all adults who care for the child or young person including step-parents, partners of a parent, and any another adult that lives in their house.
  • A child safety officer may contact parents or any other significant people to arrange a time for them to attend the child safety service centre to discuss any child protection issues.

When families are involved in ongoing intervention with our department, they may attend a child safety service centre to participate in interviews, family group meetings, family contact, or to discuss case management with their child safety officer or team leader.

Investigation and assessment outcomes

The Department of Child Safety by law must advise parents of the outcome of any investigation and assessment that has been conducted.

There are four possible outcomes of an investigation and assessment:

  • Substantiated - child is in need of protection:
    • harm has been experienced by the child or young person, or
    • there is unacceptable risk of harm and the child or young person does not have a parent able and willing to protect them, or
    • no actual harm has occurred but there is risk of unacceptable harm and the child or young person does not have a parent able and willing to protect them.
  • Substantiated - child is not in need of protection:
    • harm has been experienced by the child or young person and there is a parent able and willing to protect the child or young person.
  • Unsubstantiated - child is not in need of protection:
    • the child or young person has not suffered harm and is not in need of protection.
  • No investigation and assessment outcome.

Note: the term 'substantiated' refers to:

  • assessing that the child or young person has been harmed, whether or not the harm was part of the concerns received
  • assessing that the child or young person is at risk of harm, whether or not the risk of harm was part of the concerns received.

The outcomes recorded do not require the criminal standard of proof , that is - 'beyond a reasonable doubt' - but are determined on the 'balance of probability', that is - more likely than not.

Outcomes are determined by the assessment of harm and risk to the child or young person, the family risk evaluation, and professional judgment of the departmental officers involved.

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.