3. Respond to a request from another jurisdiction

3.1 Alerts, notifications and investigation and assessments

Another jurisdiction may contact Queensland to request assistance in relation to alerts, notifications and investigation and assessments.

In these circumstances, refer to:

3.2 Family contact, holiday or respite placement

Another jurisdiction may contact Queensland to request that a child subject to a child protection order and residing in that jurisdiction, visit Queensland for the purpose of family contact, a holiday or a respite placement.

In these circumstances, refer to Chapter 5, 12. What if another jurisdiction requests a carer assessment?

3.3 Request to locate a non-relative placement in Queensland

Where a decision has been made in another jurisdiction, as part of a child's case plan, that it is in the best interests of the child (who is subject to a child protection order in that jurisdiction) to move to Queensland, the jurisdiction may request assistance from Queensland to locate a non-relative placement.

In this circumstance, the Queensland ILO, at Court Services, will:

  • ensure that the 'Request to Locate an Interstate Placement' template (or the requesting state's equivalent form) has been completed, including information regarding the type of placement being sought, preferred locality and any relevant behaviours of the child
  • ensure that appropriate supporting documentation has been provided, for example, the case plan and medical, psychological or school reports
  • forward all relevant documentation to the relevant PSU director
  • advise the requesting jurisdiction when an appropriate placement has been located or that a placement is unable to be located.

In response to the request, the PSU will locate a suitable placement for the child, in accordance with Chapter 5, 1.11 Place the child in out-of-home care.

The PSU will:

  • liaise with, and seek additional information from, the Queensland ILO and the case worker in the interstate office, as necessary
  • advise the Queensland ILO when an appropriate placement has been located or that a placement is unable to be located
  • advise the relevant CSSC once the child has moved into their geographical area.

If the PSU does locate a non-relative placement for a child from another jurisdiction, the proposed carers do not have to meet Queensland carer approval or renewal of approval requirements, including the requirement for a blue card or positive exemption notice, until the other jurisdiction is requesting that the order be transferred to Queensland.

Requests to locate a placement in Queensland will remain active for six months. The interstate jurisdiction may make a further request for Queensland to locate a placement should this continue to be a goal of the child's case plan.

3.4 Carer assessment requests from another jurisdiction

When a request is received by Queensland to undertake a carer assessment for a child subject to a child protection order or proceeding in another jurisdiction, where the proposed carer resides in Queensland, the ILO will:

  • ensure the 'Request for Interstate Assessment of Carer/s' form (or the requesting state's equivalent) has been provided
  • ensure appropriate supporting documentation, for example, a medical or psychologist report, has been provided
  • forward all relevant material (with an accompanying letter of request summarising the case and indicating timeframes) to the PSU director for actioning
  • follow up with the relevant PSU to ensure that the assessment report is completed within the agreed timeframes.

The PSU will:

  • allocate the request to an appropriate staff member or contract it out to a suitable private practitioner, in accordance with the agreed timeframes - use of a private practitioner will be at the cost of the PSU or CSSC
  • liaise with the Queensland ILO and/or the requesting office to clarify any issues as necessary
  • complete the assessment within the agreed timeframes
  • ensure the PSU director supports the recommendation and signs the report
  • fax or email a signed and dated copy of the completed report to the Queensland ILO at Court Services.

Note: The carer applicant is not required to sign the carer assessment, and a copy of the assessment does not have to be given to the carer applicant.

On receipt of the assessment report from the PSU, the Queensland ILO will forward the report to the other jurisdiction's ILO for forwarding to the requesting office.

When such an assessment is requested by another jurisdiction in relation to a child on a child protection order in that jurisdiction, the PSU will not undertake screening checks through the CSU and the interstate carer applicant does not have to apply for a blue card. It is the role of the other jurisdiction to undertake their own suitability checks on the carer applicants according to their own legislative requirements and, if required, seek their own blue card equivalent for the proposed carer applicant.

To complete the assessment, provide a written report using the headings in the 'Areas to be covered in the assessment' section of the 'Request for Interstate Assessment of Carer/s' form. The 'Kinship Carer Assessment Tool', or 'Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire' are not to be used when completing these assessments. Where the interstate jurisdiction requests an assessment of safety in the proposed carers household and does not provide the Queensland ILO with a particular form, the Queensland 'Household Safety Study' may be used.

3.5 Assess parents with a view to reunification

When a request is received by Queensland to undertake an assessment of a parent who resides in Queensland, for the purpose of reunification of a child subject to a child protection order or proceeding in another jurisdiction, the Queensland ILO will:

  • ensure the 'Reunification Assessment Request' form (or the requesting state's equivalent form) has been provided
  • ensure appropriate supporting documentation is provided, for example, a medical or psychological report on the child or parents
  • forward all relevant material, with an accompanying letter of request summarising the case and indicating the proposed reunification timeframes, to the CSSC manager for action
  • follow up with the relevant CSSC to ensure that the assessment report is completed within the agreed timeframes.

Following the receipt of an assessment request:

  • the team leader will allocate the request to an appropriate CSO or contract it out to a suitable private practitioner, in accordance with the agreed timeframes - refer to 1. Overview of interstate and New Zealand matters
  • the allocated CSO will liaise with the Queensland ILO and/or the requesting office to clarify any issues as necessary and complete the assessment within the agreed timeframes
  • a CSSC manager or team leader will support the assessment recommendation and sign the report
  • the CSO will forward a signed and dated copy of the completed report to the Queensland ILO at Court Services.

On receipt of the assessment report from the CSSC, the Queensland ILO will forward the report to the other jurisdiction's ILO for forwarding to the requesting office.

3.6 Transfer of case work tasks

When a child is subject to a child protection order in another jurisdiction, but resides in Queensland, the other jurisdiction may request the transfer of case work tasks to Queensland.

When another jurisdiction requests the transfer of case work tasks, the Queensland ILO will:

  • ensure the 'Request for Interstate Transfer of Casework Tasks' template (or the requesting state's equivalent template) has been completed, in particular, the specific case work tasks required by the CSSC
  • ensure the appropriate supporting documentation, for example, the current case plan, other assessment reports, court, medical, psychological or school reports, have been provided
  • forward all relevant documentation, including a covering letter summarising the case and a transfer acceptance form, to the CSSC manager
  • follow up with the relevant CSSC to ensure that the case work is accepted or initiate negotiations with the other jurisdiction if required.

The CSSC will:

  • review the documentation and contact the requesting office to clarify matters, as necessary
  • allocate the case to a CSO.

The CSSC manager will complete and sign the 'Acceptance of Transfer of Casework Tasks' form and fax it to the Queensland ILO as soon as possible. This form will be sent with the original request.

On receipt of the case work transfer acceptance form, the Queensland ILO will forward the acceptance to the other jurisdiction's ILO for forwarding to the requesting office.

Note: Case management and financial costs remain the responsibility of the other jurisdiction until such time as the order is officially transferred to Queensland, when case planning requirements will need to be instigated.

3.7 Transfer of child protection orders and proceedings

When a child is subject to a child protection order or child protection proceedings in another jurisdiction, the other jurisdiction may request the transfer of the child protection order, or child protection proceedings, to Queensland. In relation to a child protection order, there are two types of transfers:

  • an administrative transfer
  • a judicial transfer.

Administrative transfer of an order to Queensland

When another jurisdiction requests the administrative transfer of a child protection order to Queensland, for a child subject to a child protection order in their jurisdiction, the Queensland ILO will:

  • ensure the interstate order is compatible and thereby transferable
  • post all relevant documents to the CSSC manager, including:
    • the completed and signed 'Request for Interstate Transfer of Child Protection Order' (or the requesting state's equivalent template)
    • the original signed consents to the transfer (child, parent and carer) as required by the sending state's legislative requirements
    • all supporting documentation, including a copy of the interstate carer assessment, if available
    • a signed/stamped copy of the interstate order
    • an accompanying letter outlining the requested transfer
    • a request that the CSSC manager liaise with the PSU director to arrange for the assessment and approval of the carers as Queensland carers
    • a summary sheet outlining the processes for an administrative transfer of a child protection order
  • send a copy of the accompanying letter and a copy of the interstate carer assessment (if available) to the PSU director, and request they liaise with the CSSC manager to have the carers approved as Queensland carers as soon as possible
  • send the appropriate consent and filing forms to the CSSC manager, once advice has been received that the carer has been approved as a Queensland carer.

It is the responsibility of the CSSC manager to:

  • review the request for transfer of the order and liaise with the Queensland ILO, as appropriate
  • ensure that the carers become approved carers in Queensland, before consenting to the transfer of the order, in accordance with Chapter 8. Regulation of care - the interstate carer assessment can form the basis of approval along with the outcome of Queensland personal history checks. However, the CSSC manager must decide whether the interstate assessment is sufficient to approve the carers, or whether a full assessment will have to take place
  • sign the 'Consent to Transfer of Child Protection Order to Queensland', in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 221(2), unless the delegated officer is satisfied the transfer of the order would not be in the child's best interests
  • scan the signed forms and email them to the Queensland ILO
  • advise the family in writing that the department has consented to the transfer of the order and provide details of a contact person and phone number - the Queensland ILO has a template of this letter.

The Queensland ILO will:

  • arrange for registration of the transfer in the Brisbane Childrens Court, if satisfied that, under the interstate law, both:
    • the period for appealing, or applying for review of, the interstate transfer decision relating to the transfer has expired
    • the decision is not subject to appeal
  • advise the CSSC manager once the transfer has been registered, and advise a date for the carer payments to commence
  • forward a copy of the registration form to the CSSC manager for distribution to the child, the parents and the carers, as appropriate
  • advise the other jurisdiction of the registration date, so that the carer payments in that jurisdiction can be finalised
  • request a copy of the child's interstate files to be sent directly to the CSSC
  • arrange for a scanned copy of the order registration to be recorded in ICMS.

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 223, the order is taken to be a child protection order of the Childrens Court in Queensland, made on the day of its registration.

Once an order is made the CSO will:

  • provide the family with a copy of the registration of the order
  • arrange for carer payments to commence from the date advised by the ILO
  • complete the relevant ongoing intervention event case management screens in ICMS.

Judicial transfer of an order to Queensland

Another Australian state or territory may seek the judicial transfer of a child protection order to Queensland in accordance with their own legislation and practice. This usually occurs when parents refuse to consent to the order transfer, or in some jurisdictions, parents cannot be located.

When another jurisdiction seeks the judicial transfer of a child protection order, the Queensland ILO will:

  • ensure the interstate order is compatible and thereby transferable
  • send an email to the CSSC manager seeking a letter of conditional consent to the transfer - the Queensland ILO will proved a draft copy of this letter
  • forward this letter from the CSSC manager to the interstate ILO for them to arrange for the interstate case worker to file an ‘order of transfer’ in the interstate court, to allow the order to be transferred to Queensland.

Once the ‘order of transfer’ has been received from the interstate jurisdiction, the Queensland ILO will: 

  • post all relevant documents to CSSC manager including:
    • the completed and signed 'Request for Interstate Transfer of Child Protection Order' (or the requesting state's equivalent template)
    • all supporting documentation, including a copy of the interstate carer assessment, if available
    • a signed/stamped copy of the interstate order and the ‘order of transfer’
    • an accompanying letter outlining the requested transfer
    • a request that the CSSC manager liaise with the PSU director to arrange for the assessment and approval of the carers as Queensland carers
    • a summary sheet outlining the processes for a judicial transfer of a child protection order
  • send a copy of the accompanying letter and a copy of the interstate carer assessment (if available) to the PSU director, and request they liaise with the CSSC manager to have the carers approved as Queensland carers as soon as possible.

It is the responsibility of the CSSC manager to:

  • review the request for judicial transfer of the order and liaise with the Queensland ILO about the transfer process
  • provide a letter of conditional consent to the intended judicial transfer
  • once the ‘order of transfer’ has been obtained and the carer has been approved as a Queensland carer, sign the 'Consent to Transfer of Child Protection Order to Queensland' in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 221(2), unless the delegated officer is satisfied the transfer of the order would not be in the child's best interests
  • return the completed and signed forms by mail to the Queensland ILO
  • advise the family in writing that the department has consented to the transfer of the order and provide details of a contact person and phone number – the Queensland ILO has a template of this letter.

The Queensland ILO will:

  • arrange for registration of the transfer in the Brisbane Childrens Court
  • advise the CSSC manager once the transfer has been registered, and advise a date for carer payments to commence
  • forward copies of the registration form to the CSSC manager for distribution to the child, the parents and the carers, as appropriate
  • send a copy of the registration form to the interstate ILO and advise of a date for carer payments in that jurisdiction to be finalised
  • request a copy of the children's interstate files to be sent directly to the CSSC
  • arrange for a scanned copy of the order registration to be recorded in ICMS.

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 223, the order is taken to be a child protection order of the Childrens Court in Queensland, made on the day of its registration.

Once an order is made the CSO will:

  • provide the family with a copy of the registration of the order
  • arrange for carer payments to commence from the date advised by the ILO
  • complete the relevant ongoing intervention event case management screens in ICMS.

Transfer of child protection proceedings

When another jurisdiction requests the transfer of child protection order proceedings to Queensland, the Queensland ILO will:

  • consult with the ILO from the other jurisdiction, and the relevant CSSC manager, in relation to the appropriateness of the request
  • forward the appropriate paperwork to the CSSC manager for consent, or otherwise, to the request.

The CSSC will:

  • refer all direct requests from another jurisdiction for transfer of child protection proceedings to the Queensland ILO to undertake and co-ordinate discussion between the two jurisdictions
  • arrange for the matter to be heard in the Childrens Court, if the CSSC manager, as delegated officer, agrees to the transfer of proceedings.

Note: A judicial transfer of proceedings is a complex matter, and should not be seen by the interstate jurisdiction as an alternative to taking their own child protection orders.