1. Place a child in care

1.1 Placement matching - an overview

The fundamental purpose of care is to provide for the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing, and ensure that their ongoing protection and care needs are met.

Placement matching enables the identification of the type of care and placement that best suits the child. In selecting a placement it is vital that the safety and care needs of the child are able to be addressed by the proposed  placement.

Consideration must also be given to whether a placement will assist in promoting an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child’s ongoing connection to family, community, culture and country. Placing the child in the first available placement, if the carer is not well matched to the child’s needs, or does not have the required supports necessary for the child or the carer, is unlikely to achieve placement stability or permanency for the child and may contribute to an escalation of the child’s placement support needs in the future. An escalation in placement support needs is likely to arise from the traumatic and cumulative effects of harm experienced by the child before entering care, and compounded by disrupted placements.

Further, the research indicates that when a child has experienced two or more placement breakdowns, there is a significantly increased likelihood of this pattern continuing.

The placement matching process is informed by the case plan goal and a thorough assessment of the child's strengths and needs, including the extent to which these impact on the child's daily functioning and the domains in which they are present. These factors will determine the level of support that the placement needs to be able to provide for the child. For further information, refer to the SDM: Child strengths and needs assessment

In some cases, the circumstances contributing to the need for placement, for example, a child’s sudden entry into care, an unexpected placement breakdown or the need to locate a placement after hours, are likely to restrict the extent to which placement matching is able to be completed. In these cases, place the child with the placement that is the best possible match in the circumstances. Once the child’s immediate placement need has been resolved, and as soon as possible following the commencement of the child’s placement, ensure that the current placement is the best available option based on the child’s level of support needs and the case plan, or locate a more suitably matched placement for the child.

Note: Ongoing intervention with a support service case will not involve the provision of a placement. For further information, refer to Chapter 7. Support service cases.

For information about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to pre-placement processes, refer to the Pre-placement checklist. For evidence-based information about placement matching and decision-making, refer to Support needs and placement matching in care - A Literature Review (PDF, 522 KB) and the practice resource, Complex/extreme support needs and placement matching (PDF, 189 KB).   

1.2 Gather information to inform placement matching

When deciding in whose care the child should be placed, give proper consideration to placing the child, as a first option, with kin (Child Protection Act 1999, section 5(2)). Fully explore kinship care options within the child's family and community. When there is insufficient information available to immediately identify a suitable kinship carer and the child is placed in another type of placement, efforts to identify a suitable kinship care option will continue until such time that an informed decision is possible.

The positive outcomes of kinship care are well documented, with children benefiting from maintaining familial, cultural and community connections. Kinship carers often face additional challenges, including the complexities and tensions that arise from family loyalties. Consider whether there are any factors that could impact on the safety of the child in a proposed kinship care placement and possible strategies to mitigate these factors.

For further information about Child Safety kinship care program and the factors that are unique in relation to locating and identifying a potential kinship carer for a child, refer to the Kinship care program description.

To assess the placement option best able to meet and respond to a child's needs, refer to Support needs and placement matching in care - A Literature Review (PDF, 522 KB), the practice resource Complex/extreme support needs and placement matching (PDF, 189 KB) and the practice resource Placement matching principles (PDF, 267 KB), and:

  • complete or update the Child information form with essential information about the child
  • gather information from the following sources:
    • the child, parents and significant others
    • the previous carer, specifically information from the Conclusion of Placement form (DOC, 578 KB)
    • Child Safety records, including whether the child has a recorded suicide risk alert and if so, any related outcomes, and case notes of direct observations of the child's behaviour or characteristics
    • the child's placement history, including frequency of placement change, reasons for placement breakdowns and their relationships with other children in previous placements including incidents of conflict or bullying
    • key stakeholders such as school teachers, medical specialists and other external agencies and specialist services involved with the child
    • the case plan goal, outcomes and actions where developed for a child in need of protection
    • information from a behaviour support plan, where developed to manage more significant problem behaviours
  • find out as soon as possible whether a child has due or overdue immunisations – refer to 2.3 Manage the child’s immunisation schedule
  • complete a child strengths and needs assessment where one is not current, for a child subject to ongoing intervention
  • consider the child’s attachment and abuse history, and which placement type might best be able to respond to the resulting risk of emotional, behavioural and attachment problems and placement instability
  • consider the long-term effect of a decision on the child’s identity and conection with family and community
  • consider whether a placement type will impact on the child’s ability to develop a healthy attachment to a primary carer, with particular consideration where the child is under three years of ageconsider a placement type which can best support the continuation of breastfeeding- refer to the Practice Guide Supporting the breastfeeding of children in care
  • consider any identified issues noted in the child health passport and the education support plan, where appropriate
  • gather information about the child’s swimming ability, and consider any risks to the child particularly if the proposed placement has a swimming pool, spa or access to other water hazards such as creeks, dams, rivers  and water troughs
  • gather information about any medications prescribed for the child, including psychotropic medications, and the possible impacts on the child's behaviour and functioning - refer to 2.4 Develop a child health passport
  • consider a residential placement for a child younger than 12 years only where:
    • a comprehensive assessment indicates that their needs may be best met by residential care, and/or
    • they are one of a sibling group that would benefit from being placed together, and/or
    • the service model has been explicitly developed and approved for children younger than 12, for example, Safe Houses
  • consider a therapeutic residential placement for a child younger than 12 years where a comprehensive assessment indicates they have therapeutic needs best met by therapeutic residential care, or they are one of a sibling group who all have complex or extreme support needs and would benefit from being placed together
  • where applicable, consider the specific placement needs of a child who has been sexually abused or has engaged in sexually abusive behaviour for further information refer to the practice resource Children with sexual abuse histories (PDF, 52 KB) seek advice from the senior practitioner or contact Practice Advice and Support (telephone 07 3008 5134 or email pas@csyw.qld.gov.au).

The placement of siblings

When a sibling group requires placement, the first preference is to keep the sibling group together, where there is a suitable kinship care, foster care or licensed residential care service placement available, and the placement option is in the best interests of all the children. It will not always be possible or appropriate to place siblings together.

Factors to consider when making this decision include:

  • any history of abuse within the sibling group
  • the role and responsibilities each sibling has previously undertaken within the family, for example, older siblings taking inappropriate levels of adult responsibility for younger siblings
  • whether the proposed carers have sufficient support to physically and financially sustain the placement.

When it is necessary to approve placements where sibling groups are separated, consider the most appropriate combination of siblings to place together, in separate placements. This will include assessing each child’s needs and emotional attachments within the sibling group, to identify the placement configuration that will foster each child’s sense of safety, security and continuity of relationships. Where siblings are placed separately, placement decisions and case planning must include arrangements which provide regular and meaningful contact between siblings.

The placement of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child

The Child Protection Act 1999, requires Child Safety, in consultation and with the consent of the child and their family, to arrange an independent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander entity for the child (referred to as an ‘independent person’) to facilitate the child and family’s participation in decision-making processes:

  • when making a significant decision about an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, and
  • when deciding where and with whom an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child will live - when the child is subject to a child protection care agreement or child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive.

For further information, refer to Chapter 10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

When an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child is placed in care, including a respite placement, Child Safety must place the child with a member of the child’s family group.

The child’s family group may include:

  • members of the child’s extended family
  • members of the child’s clan, tribe or similar, if the child belongs to such a group
  • anyone else recognised by the above as belonging to the child’s family.

If it is not practicable to place the child in the care of a member of the child’s family group, the child must be placed with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is compatible with the child’s community or language group.

If it is not practicable to place the child in the care of a person mentioned above, the child must be placed with another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

If it is not practicable to place the child in the care of a person mentioned above, the child must be placed with a person who lives near the child’s family, community or language group; and has a demonstrated capacity for ensuring the child’s continuity of connection to kin, country and culture.

Child Safety must give proper consideration to the views of the child and the child’s family about where and with whom the child will live and ensure the decision provides for the optimal retention of the child’s relationships with family members and other people of significance to the child under Aboriginal tradition or Island custom.

Prior to placing an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child with a carer who is not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, ensure that the child's carer is committed to:

  • facilitating contact between the child and their family members, unless restrictions have been imposed under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 87
  • helping the child to maintain contact with their community and language group
  • helping the child to maintain a connection with their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture
  • preserving and enhancing the child's sense of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity
  • implementing any actions required of the carer within the child's cultural support plan.

When an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child is placed with a carer who is not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, Child Safety staff must continue, in partnership with the placement service, to regularly review the child’s placement and continue to attempt to arrange a placement for the child within their family, community or language group (Child Protection Act 1999, section 83(4)).

Complete the following forms in ICMS:

  • the ‘Independent Entity form’ to record whether an independent person helped facilitate the child and family’s participation in a placement decision, where the placement is for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, subject to a child protection care agreement or child protection order, granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive
  • the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement form’ in the placement event for each placement decision about an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child.

For further information, refer to The Child Placement Principle Prompt Sheet and Chapter 10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

1.3 Determine the appropriate level of support needs

Using the outcome of the child strengths and needs assessment and all other relevant, available information, determine the extent to which the child's behaviours and characteristics may impact on the child's daily functioning and the areas of functioning that are affected.

This will assist in determining the likely level of support that the child will require from the placement, and the services that may be required (including contingency planning for a child who has a history of, or is likely to experience, placement instability).

Support levels are categorised as:

  • moderate - needs that are typical for most children in care as a result of the harm and trauma that they have experienced, and that can be managed through limit setting or other interventions
  • high - needs that indicate serious emotional, medical or behavioural issues that require additional professional or specialist input
  • complex - needs that significantly impact on the child's daily functioning, usually characterised by health conditions, disabilities or challenging behaviours
  • extreme - needs that have a pervasive impact on the child's daily functioning, usually characterised by the presence of multiple, potentially life-threatening health or disability conditions, and extreme challenging behaviours that may necessitate a constant level of supervision and care.

For a detailed description of the child's characteristics that apply to each of the support levels, refer to the practice resources Support levels and behaviour characteristics (PDF, 51 KB) and Complex/extreme support needs and placement matching (PDF, 189 KB).

Consider whether additional supports are required

Where the child has an identified risk of placement disruption or instability, consider whether additional supports are required, based on the outcome of the child strengths and needs assessment and any other relevant information.

Where there is an identified risk of placement disruption or instability, the case plan and placement agreement will include strategies to address this risk, to minimise the likelihood of further placement disruption and avoid an escalation of the child's emotional and behavioural support needs.

Strategies to respond to this risk may include:

  • an Evolve referral, to support the carer's capacity to respond to the child’s disruptive behaviour and to assist in the child developing more appropriate skills and behaviours - refer to 2.9 Refer the child to Evolve, if required
  • referrals to other specialist counselling services
  • the use of respite - refer to 2.7 Provide regular respite for the child
  • specialised training for the carer in providing trauma informed care and positive behaviour support to a child with challenging behaviours
  • cultural support, the details of which will be included in the cultural support plan section of the child's case plan - refer to Chapter 4, 3.2 Develop key items in the case plan
  • the use of any available supports and resources within the child’s family group.

1.4 Determine the most suitable placement type

When the level of support needs for the child is decided, determine the most suitable placement type and identify who may approve the placement, with reference to the below table.

Placement types and approval requirements

Moderate to high
Kinship care Kin is defined in the Child Protection Act 1999 as any of the child's relatives who are persons of significance to the child, and anyone else who is a person of significance to the child.
If kinship care is available, approval, or provisional approval must be granted before the placement with kin commences.

For further information, refer to the Kinship care (PDF) policy and the Kinship care program description.
*placement may be approved by a team leader, CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader

Foster care If kinship care is not a suitable option, consider placing the child with an approved foster carer or a foster carer applicant who is granted provisional approval.
*placement may be approved by a team leader, CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader<
Supported independent living Supported independent living services provide accommodation and support workers, but not live-in workers or carers. This placement option is best suited to a young person aged from 15-17 years who is in the process of transitioning from care.
*placement may be approved by a CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader
Safe houses Safe houses are residential care services located in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with attached family intervention services, which provide short to medium-term care for the purpose of supporting a child to remain in, or return to, the child’s community of origin.
*placement may be approved by a team leader
Moderate to extreme
Residential care Residential care is provided at premises (not a carer’s own home) that are owned or leased for the specific purpose of accommodating children subject to statutory intervention, and may range in levels and combinations of staffing, including live-in workers (such as houseparents), rostered workers with a combination of sleepover shifts and/or on-call arrangements, or rostered workers on duty 24 hours a day.

For further information refer to the Residential care (PDF) policy
*placement may be approved by a CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader

Complex to extreme
Intensive foster care Intensive foster care is a placement option for children who require more intensive support and service coordination than is typically provided for foster and kinship care placements.  Placements in intensive foster care may be with either an approved kinship or foster carer.

For more information refer to the Intensive foster care program description (PDF).
*placement may be approved by a team leader, CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader

Therapeutic residential care This placement option is for young people unable to be placed in home-based care or other residential services, and aims to promote the development of the skills and behaviours required to transition to less intensive forms of care.

For further information, refer to the Therapeutic residential care (PDF) policy and A guide to the placement of young people in therapeutic residential services.
*requires regional director approval

Special circumstances
Placement with another entity The Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1)(f), allows for a child to be placed in the care of another entity (other than an approved carer or licensed care service), only when that entity is the most appropriate for meeting the child's particular protection and care needs.

*may be approved by the CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or team leader
*may also require approval by the relevant financial delegate when the placement is funded through child related costs.

Placement in emergent accommodation - overnight or short-term accommodation such as a motel or caravan park A type of placement, that may only be used when there are no grant funded placements available (or one cannot be supported with the use of child related costs – placement support funding) and the child's placement need is urgent. The child is cared for by direct care workers, and the quality of the care will be monitored and recorded using the Checklist for placement of a child in emergent accommodation.

For further information refer to the Emergent accommodation policy (PDF).
*requires regional director approval for up to 7 days, and regional executive director approval for 7-20 days, and/or for children under 12 years.

Placement funding arrangements and financial supports will vary depending upon the type of placement, and any payments made directly by Child Safety require the approval of the financial delegate prior to costs being incurred. Refer to the Child related costs – Placement funding (PDF) policy and procedure for placements funded through child related costs.

Foster and kinship carers receive financial assistance in the form of:

  • the fortnightly caring allowance
  • regional and remote loading, where applicable
  • the high support needs allowance, where required
  • the complex support needs allowance, where required
  • establishment and/or start-up allowance, depending on the child's circumstances
  • child related costs as a reimbursement of approved expenditure, based on the child's needs and eligibility criteria.

Residential care services are funded by Child Safety to cover the full range of service costs related to their direct care of the child, excluding the child related costs that would otherwise be incorporated into the complex support needs allowance.

Placements with a Child Safety employee

A child who is subject to a care agreement or an order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive may be placed with an employee of Child Safety, including a person undertaking employment through a traineeship or student placement, where:

  • the employee is an adoption applicant and the child has a valid adoption consent and is to be adopted by the employee
  • the employee is an approved carer, or has provisional approval, at the time of their employment
  • the employee meets the legislative definition of kin (Child Protection Act 1999, Schedule 3), submits an application to become a kinship carer and has been approved as a kinship carer, including provisional approval (if applicable), by the regional director
  • the employee is employed in a non-direct service delivery role, submits an application to become a foster carer and has been approved as a foster carer, including provisional approval (if applicable), by the regional director.

A Child Safety employee who is employed in a direct service delivery role and who does not meet the legislative definition of kin may only be approved as a foster carer, including a provisionally approved carer, in exceptional circumstances, subject to the approval of the regional director. For further information, refer to Chapter 8, 3. What if a carer or carer applicant is also a Child Safety employee?

Any child placed with a Child Safety employee who is also an approved carer, including a provisionally approved carer, will be recorded as a sensitive client. Select 'person sensitivity' as the sensitivity type - for further information, refer to Chapter 10.5 Recording sensitivity.

Make a referral to the Placement Services Unit

To initiate placement, complete a PSU referral and contact the PSU in your region.

The PSU will, as a first point of discussion, require that kinship care options be fully explored and if this placement option is not immediately available, the PSU will commence actions to locate a placement, including searching ICMS for information about current approved foster carers and licensed residential care services.

The PSU is responsible for updating a carer’s ‘Carer entity status’ in the Carer entity profile in ICMS, including details about the expected inactive period end date and inactive reason. A status of ‘Active’ indicates that the carer is operational and taking placements and a status of ‘Inactive’ indicates the carer is operational (approved) but temporarily unavailable to accept further placements, for example, the carer is travelling overseas or is unable to take placements due to a temporary illness.

For information about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to making a referral to the PSU and confirming a placement, refer to the Pre-placement checklist.

Obtain the child's views

Taking into consideration the child's age, ability to understand and level of maturity:

  • provide the child with the information needed to allow them to reasonably participate in decision-making about the most appropriate placement type and if applicable, the most appropriate carer, for them (for example, information about a placement type or a proposed carer and the proposed carer's household members)
  • obtain the child's views about their personal information, being given to the prospective carer or service
  • decide what information about the child will be given to the prospective carer or service, taking into consideration the child’s views.

For placement decisions about an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child arrange for an independent person to assist the child participate in the placement decision, refer to 10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

If a child objects to the disclosure of sensitive information about themselves, assess whether disclosing the information to the carer or service is necessary to enable the carer to meet the safety and care needs of the child or other children in the placement. If disclosing the information is assessed as not necessary, the child’s privacy will be respected. If disclosing the information is assessed as necessary, advise the child that the information has been disclosed to the carer and why it was necessary. For further information, refer to the practice resource Participation of children and young people in decision-making and the Children and young people's participation strategy.

Record any views obtained from the child in a ‘Case planning/Implementation’ case note, titled ‘The child’s views'.

Note: In order to meet the needs of the child and other children in the placement, carers of a child with a sexual abuse history are to be given the child’s complete history, including full details of the abuse. This is to occur, regardless of the child’s views. For more information about providing relevant details of a child’s sexual abuse history, refer to the practice resource Children with sexual abuse histories (PDF, 52 KB).

Locate the best available placement option

When the preferred placement type is decided, the PSU will locate the best available placement option based on the child's needs and the supports or services required to meet those needs.

Whether this is conducted by the CSSC or the PSU will depend on the preferred type of placement, who is delegated to approve the placement or any placement related funding, and regional protocols regarding locating placements and making referrals.

As far as possible, locate a placement which ensures that:

  • siblings are placed together where possible and appropriate - refer to 1.2 Gather information to inform placement matching and document the rationale for the decision in a case note
  • the child's family relationships and connections to their community and country are maintained
  • the child's individual rights and ethnic, religious and cultural identity or values are supported
  • the child is afforded continuity and stability in care
  • the placement is in accordance with the child placement principle for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child - refer to The Child Placement Principle Prompt Sheet
  • babies and children with reduced immunity are not placed into a household or care environment where there may be an increased risk of infection - refer to the Immunisation of Children in care (PDF, 337 KB) policy. 

Consider the impact that any existing children in the placement, for example, the number, ages and support needs of these children, and what impact this would have on the needs of the child requiring a placement. Also consider whether the placement of the child may pose any risks to the safety of the applicant or any other children in the applicant’s household (e.g. the parents or family members of the child being considered for placement have been identified as a safety risk for the applicants and children in the household).Contact the CSO of any other child currently placed with the carer to gather information and consider any feedback about the carer’s ability to provide for the care needs of the existing children, as well as for the additional child requiring a placement. Also consider the adult membership of the carer household, and the impact this may have on the child’s safety. 

Also consider the adult membership of the carer household, and the impact this may have on the child’s safety. Where a parent resides in the same household, consider the impact of this arrangement on the safety of the child, and the carer’s capacity to meet the child’s safety needs.

Take into consideration the financial support, case work support and carer support provided within, or available for, each placement option and whether this enables the placement to meet the child’s support needs. For example, the provision of high support needs allowance may enable the foster or kinship carer to access services and supports to maintain a child in the placement, who might otherwise require placement in a residential setting. Similarly, the provision of additional placement support funded through child related costs may assist a foster or kinship carer to provide a short-term placement to a large sibling group who might otherwise be separated or disconnected from their family, school and local community – refer to the Child related costs – Placement support funding policy and procedure.

To assess the placement option best able to meet and respond to a child's needs, refer to the practice resource Placement matching principles (PDF, 267 KB).

If a child cannot be placed with an approved carer or licensed care service, and the most appropriate placement type is considered to be a placement with another entity, refer to 1. What if a child requires a placement with another entity (82(1)(f))?

Foster care matching

Where it is decided that a foster care placement will best meet the child’s needs, the CSSC and PSU will work with a foster and kinship care service to find a carer who is well matched to the child’s needs. This will include:

  • assessing the level of the match between the proposed carer’s capacity, capabilities and characteristics and the child’s needs across a range of domains
  • identifying the supports, services or strategies that are required to meet any particular needs presented by the match between the child and proposed carer.

When Child Safety makes a referral to a foster and kinship care service for a child, the care service will consider whether there is a carer who would be well suited to meeting the child’s needs.

Where the care service has identified one or more prospective foster carers for the child, the Foster care matching tool (DOCX, 349 KB) or a similar tool should be used to identify the best match between the child’s needs and carer’s capacity, capabilities and characteristics across a range of needs domains. This assessment will inform decisions about the additional supports, services or strategies that are required to meet the child’s needs in the placement.

The foster and kinship care service will also contact a prospective carer for the child to discuss the referral and seek their views about the proposed placement. If authorised by Child Safety, the care service may provide a prospective foster carer with the Child information form (sections A and B only), to assist them to make a well informed decision about accepting or refusing the referral.

Where it is identified that there may be particular needs presented by the match between the child and the proposed carer, the foster and kinship care service and Child Safety will collaboratively plan the provision of supports to meet the child’s needs – refer to 1.9 Complete a placement agreement.

For more information about the respective roles and responsibilities of Child Safety and foster and kinship care services in the matching process, refer to the policy Foster care matching: a partnership approach (PDF, 340 KB).

1.5 Contact the proposed carer or service to request the placement

Once the best available placement option has been determined, the PSU will:

  • liaise with the foster and kinship care or licenced care service, to request the placement 
  • provide the proposed service and carer with information about the child that will:
    •  assist the carer or service and to make an informed decision about accepting the placement
    • assist the carer or service to respond to the child’s needs
    • protect the carer and where applicable, members of their household or staff members of the service, from potential harm.

Prior to contacting the most suitable carer or service to request a placement for the child, an assessment of the placement information to be provided to parents must be undertaken and this information is to be discussed with the carer - refer to 1.6 Assess the provision of placement information.

If the carer or service does not agree with the decision by Child Safety about placement information to be provided to parents, the placement will not be able to proceed or, where applicable, continue. Refer to 1.6 Assess the provision of placement information to parents.

Note: When a child is subject to a care agreement, parents must be provided with full placement information and the assessment of placement information to parents does not apply. 

Following approval of the placement decision:

  • liaise with the foster and kinship care or licenced care service, to request the placement
  • contact the carer to request or confirm the placement
  • provide the proposed carer or service with information about the child that will:
    • assist the carer or service to make an informed decision about accepting the placement
    • assist the carer or service to respond to the child's needs
    • protect the carer and where applicable, members of their household or staff members of the service, from potential harm - include details of the placement information that is to be provided to parents.

1.6 Assess the provision of placement information to parents

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 51AK, 85 and 86, sets out the requirements for providing placement information to the parents of a child placed in care - refer to 1.10 Provide placement information to parents.

Conduct the assessment

An assessment must be conducted prior to each new placement of a child in care to determine whether providing placement information to the child’s parents could constitute a significant risk to the safety of the child, the carer or anyone else with whom the child is living. Assess the potential level of risk by:

  • considering the specific risk factors listed in the ‘Assessment of placement information to parents’ in ICMS
  • gathering information to assess the risk posed by any of the significant adults, including parents, partners of a parent, a person involved in the child’s removal from home and anyone else who will have regular contact with the child, should the parents be provided with full placement information
  • considering the quality of the information gathered, the reliability of the source and its relevance to the safety of the child, the carer or anyone else with whom the child is living.

Once the assessment is completed, decide the level of placement information to be provided to parents, either:

  • full placement information to parents
  • initially give partial information to parents, prior to a decision about the information to be provided to, or withheld from, parents
  • withhold full or partial placement information, based on the assessed significant risk.

If the assessment is unable to be completed at the time the child is placed with the carer or service, due to further information being required, it will be completed as soon as practicable after the placement commences.

Discuss the assessment with the carer, licensed care service or another entity

Before requesting approval of the assessment outcome:

  • contact the carer and discuss the proposed level and nature of placement information to be provided to parents and the degree of risk, if any, associated with the placement
  • only discuss information directly relevant to the level of placement information to be provided to parents - do not discuss past issues if they are not relevant to the current situation
  • reach an agreement with the carer regarding the level of information to be provided to parents about where and with whom the child is placed.

Note: the placement will not proceed, or may not continue, if agreement cannot be reached with the carer.

Request approval of the assessment outcome

Once agreement about the level of information to be given to the child’s parents has been reached with a carer:

  • finalise the assessment outcome
  • obtain approval of the assessment outcome, as follows:
  • for an assessment order, senior team leader CSSC or CSAHSC, or senior practitioner
  • for a TCO, a CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or senior team leader approves the assessment outcome.
  • for a child protection order, CSSC manager or CSAHSC manager or senior team leader.

In cases where a very high level of security must be maintained because of serious and irrevocable safety concerns and all placement details are withheld from parents, the decision must be:

  • approved by the CSSC manager as being long-term and not subject to regular review
  • endorsed by the regional director.

Inform relevant parties of the approved decision

When the decision about the level of placement information to be given to a child's parents is approved:

  • advise the parents and the child of the decision, verbally and where required, through written advice signed by the CSSC manager - refer to 1.10 Provide placement information to parents
  • inform the carer of the final decision.

When a decision is made that placement information is to be withheld, or that only partial information is to be given to parents, consider whether other persons or selected agencies, such as the child’s school administration or a hospital, should be advised that the parents are not to be informed of information regarding the child’s placement.

Record information

Record the assessment and the decision about the provision of placement information to parents in the:

  • 'Assessment of placement information to parents' in ICMS
  • 'Placement agreement' in ICMS
  • licensed care service or another entity referral.

When all placement details are withheld from parents and the CSSC manager approves the decision as being long-term and not subject to regular review, the CSSC manager is responsible for recording the details and outcome of the discussion with the regional director as a case note in ICMS.

Implement actions where agreement cannot be reached

If after all reasonable attempts, agreement about the level of placement information to be given to parents cannot be reached with the carer, locate an alternative placement for the child, having regard to the circumstances of the child and the case plan.

If a child has already been placed with a carer, licensed care service or another entity following an initial decision to withhold full placement information or to provide only partial placement information, and circumstances change which affect the level of placement information to be given to parents, discuss the new assessment and outcome with the carer.

Work with the carer and the care agency, where applicable, to develop strategies to address concerns the carer may have as a result of the increased level of placement information to be provided to the child’s parents.

If agreement cannot be reached with the carer about the new level of information to be provided to parents, and a decision is made to remove the child from the placement, the child or carer may apply to QCAT to have the decision reviewed, where:

  • the child protection order grants long-term guardianship to the chief executive, or
  • the carer is an approved foster or kinship carer and either:
    • the child protection order grants long-term guardianship to the chief executive, or
    • the stated reason for the decision is that the carer is no longer a suitable person to have the care of the child or that the carer is no longer able to meet the standards of care in the statement of standards for the child.

In this circumstance:

  • provide the child with written notice of the decision to remove the child, and information about the Child Safety complaints systems
  • provide the carer with written notice of the decision to remove the child, Letter to carer - removal of a child (section 89).

A provisionally approved carer or the staff member of a licensed care service or another entity does not have the right of review under the Child Protection Act 1999. They may however access the Child Safety complaints system. For further information refer to the Customer service compliments and complaints website.

Review the decision to withhold full or partial placement information

Unless a long-term decision has been endorsed by the regional director, the decision to withhold full placement information or to provide only partial information to a child's parents will be regularly reviewed by Child Safety, regardless of the order type, as follows:

  • in accordance with the review date specified on the 'Assessment of placement information to parents’ form
  • if additional information potentially affecting the level of placement information to parents becomes known.

Each decision resulting from a Child Safety review is a 'new' decision subject to review mechanisms. The new decision will be communicated to the parents, the child where possible and the carer - refer to 1.10 Provide placement information to parents.

Where a decision is made to withhold placement information to parents on a long-term basis, regular review is not necessary. This does not preclude the future provision of placement information should a change in circumstances mitigate the previously identified risks.

1.7 Obtain approval for the placement

When the best available placement type or carer is identified, obtain approval of the placement decision by the delegated officer, as recorded in the 'Placement Types and Approval Requirements' table - refer to 1.4 Determine the most suitable placement type. Approval may be obtained before or after contacting a carer or service to discuss placement availability and willingness to accept the placement.

If the proposed placement is located in a geographical area covered by another CSSC, the senior team leader or CSSC manager with responsibility for that area must give permission for the placement in writing prior to the commencement of the child’s placement - refer to Chapter 3, 3. What if an ongoing intervention case needs to be transferred to another CSSC?

The placement decision will only be approved where the delegated officer is satisfied that:

  • the child is in need of protection and cannot safely be at home
  • depending on their age, the views of the child and their family have been sought and considered in relation to the child's care
  • where applicable, an independent person has been arranged to help facilitate the child’s and family’s participation in the placement decision, or a valid reason exists for this not occurring - refer to 10.1 Decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • every effort has been made to find a placement where all siblings requiring care are placed together, where possible and appropriate
  • family relationships can and will be maintained, and the individual rights and ethnic, religious and cultural identity and values of the child and family can be accommodated
  • the information provision requirements in relation to the placement are fulfilled with respect to the child, parents and the carer - refer to 1.6 Assess the provision of placement information to parents  1.10 Provide placement information to parents.

1.8  Prepare for the placement

When the carer agrees to the placement and the decision by Child Safety about the placement information to be provided to the parents:

  • create a placement event in ICMS - under the 'Locations' tab 
  • complete the 'Authority to care for child' form in ICMS - refer to the practice resource The authority to care form (PDF, 28 KB)
  • provide the signed 'Authority to care for child' form to the carer
  • plan, consult and negotiate with all relevant parties involved in the placement process, to ensure the commencement of the placement causes as little trauma as possible to the child
  • obtain information from the child's parents, to enable the child's needs to be met during the placement, for example, Medicare enrolment details, immediate health needs and essential medical history - refer to 2.2 Obtain Medicare and Health care card details and 2.4 Develop a child health passport 
  • contact the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to request information about the child’s immunisation status – refer to 2.3 Manage the child’s immunisation schedule
  • ensure all relevant information about the child is recorded in the Child information form, including the child's:
    • name, date of birth, sex and cultural or Indigenous status
    • health information, including allergies to food and medication, and their Medicare and Health Care Card details
    • noteable behaviours, including learning difficulties, developmental delays and high risk taking behaviours
    • normal daily routine
    • education, vocation or employment details
    • dietary requirements, including specific needs for a child under two years of age
    • the child’s swimming ability and the level of supervision they require when in, on or near water
    • non-essential health information, family health history and child’s strengths and needs
  • provide the carer or residential care service with the Child information form (sections A and B only) at the commencement of the child's placement to ensure they have the information necessary to decide whether to agree to the placement and assist them provide adequate care for the child
  • where possible, provide an opportunity for the child to visit the carer or service prior to the commencement of the placement
  • complete a placement agreement with the carer or service - refer to 1.9 Complete a placement agreement
  • provide placement information to the parents and advise the child what information has been provided, having regard to the child's age and ability to understand - refer to 1.10 Provide placement information to parents.

In certain circumstances, a signed authority to care form may be provided to the child's parents, with a copy to an applicable service. In these circumstances, the usual 'Authority to care for child' form is unable to be completed in ICMS and an The authority to care form (PDF, 28 KB) is completed. For further information refer to the practice resource The authority to care form (PDF, 28 KB).

For further information about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to placement preparation and commencement, refer to the Placement commencement checklist.

Ellen Barron Family Centre

The Ellen Barron Family Centre is one service that requires parents to have an authority to care form in order to facilitate admission to the centre, where a child is subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive. The authority to care form must cover the duration of the admission. Children subject to a court assessment order granting custody to the chief executive may not be referred to the Ellen Barron Family Centre, as they are not able to be placed with a parent under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(2).

When making a referral to the Ellen Barron Family Centre the centre requires the following documentation:

When a family is to attend the Ellen Barron Family Centre, the following guidelines apply:

  • where possible, a departmental officer is to both drop-off and pick-up the parents from the centre
  • where it is unavoidable that parents be served with court papers during their admission to the centre, a prior discussion with Ellen Barron Centre staff will assist in managing any sensitivities that may arise from this action
  • if an assessment is made that a child is to be removed from their parents' care, make every effort for this to occur at an alternative location, or if the removal is considered urgent, the Ellen Barron Family Centre requires that their staff be consulted and involved in the planning process.

1.9 Complete a placement agreement

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 84, requires a written agreement be entered into between Child Safety and an approved carer regarding a child’s care. A placement agreement is a written agreement between Child Safety and a carer or care service about the care of a child.

A placement agreement must be developed for every child placed in care. This includes a child subject to an assessment order, TCO, child protection order or care agreement where the child is placed in care with:

  • an approved foster carer, approved kinship carer or provisionally approved carer (either primary or respite)
  • a licensed care service, including residential care services and therapeutic residential care services

The purpose of the placement agreement is to ensure carers and care services have access to relevant information about a child and adequate support for the placement. Information is provided to enable the carer or care service to provide an appropriate level of care for the child and to ensure the child’s safety, as well as that of the carer, members of the carers household, or children and staff in a residential care service. It also includes what is required to ensure the safety of a child in circumstances where a child’s parents are also living in the household.

The placement agreement:

  • outlines the goals of the placement
  • provides relevant information about a child
  • records the agreed support and services to be provided to the carer or care service, based on the assessed level of the child's needs.

A placement agreement is not required when a child protection order grants long-term guardianship to a suitable person - refer to Chapter 3, 1. What if a suitable person has long-term guardianship?

Complete the placement agreement prior to the child’s placement wherever possible, to establish the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties in achieving the case plan goal and outcomes of the placement.

If a placement is required at short notice and limited information is available about the child, complete a placement agreement with all known information, enter a short review timeframe and update the agreement when more details are obtained.

If it is not possible to provide a written agreement at the time of placement, provide the carer or service with as much verbal information about the child as is possible, and provide a written agreement to the carer within three working days of the placement.

Gather information to inform the placement agreement

Gather relevant information to inform the development of the placement agreement. This information has also informed placement matching, and includes:

  • the child's strengths and needs
  • the child's assessed level of support needs, including behaviour support
  • the case plan goal, outcomes and actions
  • any specific financial or other supports to be provided to the carer 
  • information required for the child to be up to date with their immunisations
  • if not yet incorporated in the case plan, details of the child health passport and education support plan, where applicable, and any related actions required by the carer
  • information from Child Safety records, including details of:
    • previous placements (for example, frequency, reasons for placement breakdowns or their relationships with children in previous placements, including incidents of conflict or bullying)
    • previous suicide risk alerts, suicide risk mangement plans and related outcomes
  • information provided by agencies involved with the child, including specialist services such as Evolve.

Where a placement agreement is being developed for a child under 12 years of age who is being placed in a residential care service, gather information from any additional assessments that indicate their needs are best met by the residential care service or therapeutic residential care service. Include details of the nature and frequency of Child Safety contact that will occur to monitor the child’s progress, especially during the period from placement commencement until the initial placement review is held.

Negotiate the placement agreement

Arrange a time with the carer to complete the placement agreement (a "placement meeting") prior to the child's placement, wherever possible. Where possible and in accordance with the child's age and ability to understand, involve the child in developing the placement agreement.

Placement meetings are an important part of working collaboratively to support carers to provide quality care for children in care. Child Safety is responsible for ensuring that the placement meeting occurs. However, if agreed by all parties, the placement meeting may be arranged and/or facilitated by the care service. If a CSO, carer or care service staff member is unable to attend the placement meeting in person, participation by phone can be negotiated.

A placement agreement for a foster care placement will be informed by the Foster care matching tool (DOCX, 349 KB) completed as part of the placement matching process, refer 1.4 Determine the most suitable placement type. As part of the placement meeting with a foster carer, review the outcomes of the matching tool to determine whether any other additional supports might be required.

When negotiating the placement agreement:

  • provide information in an open, accountable and timely manner to enable the carer to provide a level of care consistent with the legislated statement of standards
  • maintain the confidentiality of personal information about the child or parents, that is not directly relevant to ensuring the child's safety and well-being, and the safety of other members of the carer's household
  • ensure the arrangements made maintain family relationships and support individual rights and ethnic, religious and cultural identity or values.

Include the following specific matters in the placement agreement:

  • relevant details about the child, their family and other persons of significance to the child
  • the placement information provided to the child's parents
  • information about the child's health, including:
  • any requirements for the child to receive their recommended schedule of immunisations including the provision of consent from the child’s parents if required – refer to 2.3 Manage the child’s immunisation schedule 
  • management of any prescribed medications, including psychotropic - refer to 2.4 Develop a child health passport
  • information about the child's education, religion, culture, behavioural support needs and recreational interests or hobbies
  • ways to positively maintain and extend the child's self-development and life skills
  • decisions about the care of the child, able to be made by the carer, and decisions to be made by parents or Child Safety - refer to 3.1 Determine who may decide a custody or guardianship matter
  • information regarding behavioural factors that may impact on the safety and well-being of the child or others in the household, for example, previous sexual abuse and suicide risk alerts or previous relationship issues with other children, including incidents of conflict or bullying
  • where the carer or care service has a swimming pool, spa or other water hazard in, or or near their premises, provide information about the child’s swimming ability and where necessary develop a strategy to manage any identified risks
  • strategies developed in a behaviour support plan 
  • information about the carer's commitment to provide care in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 83(7) when the child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and the carer is not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
  • existing or required support and services for the child and details of who has financial responsibility for any costs incurred
  • a brief summary of the reasons for the child entering care and significant historical information
  • family contact arrangements
  • roles and responsibilities for the child’s care, including the nature and level of parental contact, when the child’s parents are residing in the same household
  • the agreement between Child Safety and the carer or care service about:
    • the goals of the placement
    • the duration of the placement
    • the support and services available to the carer or service, including respite
    • the timeframe for the review of the placement agreement.

Financial responsibility for any costs incurred will be in line with the agreed expenditures in the child's case plan.

For a kinship carer, discuss and incorporate in the placement agreement:

Where a child under three years of age is being considered for placement in a residential facility, for example, a safe house, consider and include strategies to address how the placement type will impact on the child’s ability to develop a healthy attachment to a primary carer.

Record the placement agreement

Record the key details of the placement agreement, including agreed roles and responsibilities, in the 'Placement agreement' in ICMS and provide a copy to the carer and the foster and kinship care service that the carer is affiliated with.

Review the placement agreement

The placement agreement will be reviewed on a regular basis, and at a minimum, every six months, to ensure consistency with the child's current case plan and review processes, however, the review may occur prior to, during, or following a family group meeting or review of the case plan. For further information, refer to Chapter 4. Case planning.

1.10 Provide placement information to parents

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 85 and 86, requires that as soon as practicable after deciding in whose care to place a child, Child Safety:

  • must tell (for an assessment order) or notify (for a child protection order) the child's parents in whose care the child is placed and where the child is living
  • must notify (for a child subject to a child protection order) the child of the decision about placement information provided to parents.

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 51AK, requires that for a child subject to a TCO, as soon as practicable after deciding in whose care to place a child, Child Safety:

  • must tell the child’s parents in whose care the child is placed and where the child is living
  • must tell the long-term guardians in whose care the child is placed and where the child is living, if the child has long-term guardians
  • must attempt to notify the parents in whose care the child is placed and where the child is living, if the child has long-term guardians.

The Public Guardian Act 2014, section 89(1) requires Child Safety to advise the Office of the Public Guardian when a reviewable decision is made in relation to a child. A decision about where and with whom a child is placed is a reviewable decision. A copy of the written notice of the decision provided to the parents or the child will also be provided to the Office of the Public Guardian, within three days of the decision being made by the delegate. For information about the Office of the Public Guardian regional inboxes, refer to the OPG - Regional Visiting Manager contact details. (PDF)

Before providing written placement information to parents or the child, an assessment must be conducted - refer to 1.6 Assess the provision of placement information to parents.

When a child is no longer in the care of their long-term guardian and is subject to an assessment order, TCO or interim custody order, the long-term guardian has the same rights as parents to placement information. Advise the long-term guardians of the placement information or decision to withhold placement information as per the requirements to a parent.

Inform parents and the child of the decision

For an assessment order or a TCO of any duration, and a child protection order where the placement is less than seven days:

  • verbally provide placement information to parents
  • inform parents of the rationale for the decision and the option available to have the decision reviewed
  • tell the child what placement information has been, or will be, provided to their parents
  • inform the child of the reasons for the decision and the option available to have the decision reviewed.

For a child protection order where the placement is more than seven days (exceeds six nights), the decision about in whose care to place the child, or to withhold full or partial placement information from parents, is a reviewable decision. This includes when a child will have planned and ongoing respite with one carer that is cumulatively more than seven days for the duration of the current case plan review period.

The written notice to be provided about these decisions will be signed by the CSSC manager. In this circumstance:

  • verbally provide placement information to parents
  • inform parents of the rationale for the decision and options available to have the decision reviewed by Child Safety or QCAT
  • provide written notice of the decision to the parents (see below)
  • where age and developmentally appropriate:
  • tell the child what placement information has been, or will be, provided to their parents
  • inform the child of the rationale for the decision and options available to have the decision reviewed by Child Safety or QCAT
  • provide written notice of the decision to the child.

When placement information is fully or partially withheld due to significant safety concerns, provide the parents with a general description of where and in whose care the child is placed, for example, with an approved carer or licensed care service in the Brisbane area.

The table below sets out the requirements for how information provision requirements are to be communicated to the child and family.

Type of placement / orderTell parents the decisionProvide written notice of the decision to parentsTell the child the decision*Provide written notice of the decision to the child*
Care agreement
Assessment care agreement
Child protection care agreement
Yes No Yes No
Assessment order
TAO
CAO
Yes No Yes No
TCO Yes No Yes No
Child protection order – where placement is for 6 nights or less Yes No Yes No
Child protection order – where placement exceeds 6 nights Yes Yes Yes Yes

* where the child is of an appropriate age and has the ability to understand.

Provide written notice of the decision to parents

Provide the applicable written advice, signed by the CSSC manager, along with information about Child Safety's complaint process, to the child's parents, either:

When a child will have planned respite with one carer that cumulatively exceeds six nights over the case plan review period, outline the respite plan in the written advice to the parents.

For further information about complaints, refer to the Child Safety's Customer Compliments and complaints website.

Provide written notice of the decision to the child, if applicable

Where required, develop written notice of the decision to provide full placement information to parents. Develop the written notice on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the child's age, level of maturity and ability to understand and ensure that it includes:

the details outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 86(2)

information about accessing the Child Safety's complaints system.

When a decision is made not to provide full placement information to parents, written notice to the child will include:

  • the details outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 86(2) and section 86(5)
  • information about accessing Child Safety's complaints system - for further information about complaints, refer to Chld Safety's Customer Compliments and complaints website.

Provide the written notice, signed by the CSSC manager, to the child, as soon as possible after the decision about placement information to parents is made.

When a child will have planned respite with one carer that cumulatively exceeds six nights over the case plan review period, outline a respite plan in the written advice to the child.

Record details of the placement information provided

Ensure that case notes reflect the extent and nature of information discussed with parents and the child, having regard to the child's age and ability to understand, and provide an overview of the parents and the child's response, where known. Record the details of the placement information provided to parents in the placement agreement - refer to 1.9 Complete a placement agreement.

Attach a copy of all correspondence sent to the parents and the child to the relevant event in ICMS.

Support the child through a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal review, if applicable

When a child indicates that they wish to apply to have a decision reviewed, the CSSC manager will:

  • nominate a Child Safety officer not involved in the decision about placement information, to support the child through the review process
  • consult with the regional director about legal support the child may access, having considered the child's age and capacity to instruct legal representation.

In this circumstance, the regional director will seek advice on a case-by-case basis through Court Services.

For information about when a Child Safety officer is to review the decision about the provision of placement information to parents, refer to 1.6 Assess the provision of placement information to parents.

1.11 Place the child in care

Ensure that, as far as practicable, the child and the carer are prepared for the placement, and that the child's personal belongings and records move with them when the placement commences.

For further information about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU in relation to placement preparation and commencement, refer to the Placement commencement checklist.

Provide information to the child and parents

When a child is placed in care, provide the following information to the child, having regard to their age and ability to understand, and to their parents:

  • an explanation of the role of Child Safety in protecting children
  • placement information provided to parents, and when applicable to long-term guardians.

For further information, refer to 1.10 Provide placement information to parents

  • the composition and routine of the carer's household, licensed care service or another entity
  • arrangements for contact with parents, siblings, relatives and friends, including written notice of a reviewable decision - refer to 2.6 Facilitate and monitor family contact
  • details of the child's case plan, including anticipated placement outcomes
  • details of child care or educational arrangements
  • advice about locating and accessing support and advocacy services
  • information about processes for reviewing the decisions and actions of Child Safety officers.

In addition, for a child subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive, and having regard to their age and ability to understand:

  • tell the child about the Charter of rights for a child in care and its effect
  • provide written information about the Charter of rights, using the relevant booklet:
  • tell the child about the role of the Office of the Public Guardian and other relevant agencies that can help if the child feels the Charter of rights is not being complied with
  • tell the child about the role of community visitors and provide them with Community Visitor Publications.

Note: Additional requirements for the commencement of a placement apply when a child is placed in care subject to a care agreement - refer to Chapter 6, 3.1 Place a child using a child protection care agreement.

Provide information and documentation to the carer

When placing a child in care under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1)(a-f), provide the carer with the following:

If applicable, provide the carer with:

For further information refer to the practice resource Placement documentation (PDF, 37 KB) (PDF)

If a child cannot be placed with an approved carer or licensed care service, and the most appropriate placement type is considered to be a placement with another entity, refer to 1. What if a child requires a placement with another entity (82(1)(f))?

Consider a referral to the CSAHSC

After considering the circumstances of the case, the child's needs and the nature of the placement, decide whether a referral to the CSAHSC is required. A referral to the CSAHSC is made when additional after hours support is required to ensure practice standards are met and a child's safety cannot be ensured outside normal business hours. If applicable, complete the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre: After hours referral form. For further information about making a referral to CSAHSC, refer to Chapter 10.15 The role of the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre.

Consider a referral to the CSAHSC - Foster and Kinship Care Support Line

If a carer requires additional support outside business hours to support the child's needs in the placement, decide whether a referral to the Foster and Kinship Care Support Line is required. Circumstances where a referral may be considered include:

  • a child or sibling group has been newly placed
  • a child has complex needs due to their behaviour or other special needs
  • a child has high support needs due a specific event or issue
  • a carer has been provisionally approved or newly approved as a kinship carer.

If applicable, complete the Foster and Kinship Care Support Line Referral Form.

Foster and Kinship Care Support Line staff will record information about the contact with the carer within 'Documents and Communications' in the carer's 'Monitor and Support' screen in ICMS.

Approved foster and kinship carers, provisionally approved carers and Child Safety staff can also phone the support line on 1300 729 309, Monday to Friday 5.00pm - 11.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 7.00am - 11.30pm.

Complete actions in ICMS and Carepay to commence payment

When a child is placed in care with an approved foster or kinship carer or a provisionally approved carer, complete the following to commence the carer's payment:

  • ensure the placement event is created in ICMS with a placement start date and end date if known (a respite placement must have an end date)
  • where not already generated, generate a vendor number for the carer in Carepay and complete the Vendor Master Data Maintenance form and forward the form to the Master Data Unit within Queensland Shared Services Finance
  • enter relevant allowance details into Carepay and submit the task for approval.

Record information about the placement

When a child is placed in a care placement, a copy of placement documentation not created in ICMS will be attached to the relevant event in ICMS, for example, the Conclusion of placement form (DOC, 578 KB) and the Child information form.

Maintain contact with the child and carer during the placement

For the duration of the placement:

maintain regular contact with the child in their care environment to ensure their needs are met and the quality of care provided is consistent with legislative and policy requirements

support the child and the carer to enhance placement stability and to assist the carer in responding to the child's changing needs

assess and monitor that intervention strategies are achieving positive outcomes for the child and their family, in accordance with the case plan goal.

For specific support functions to be implemented, refer to 2. Support a child in care.

Further information about working with children in care is available through the practice papers Placing Children in care - principles and guidelines for improving outcomes (PDF, 89 KB), Supporting children and young people in care through transitions (PDF, 154 KB) and Working with children and young people in care (PDF, 83 KB).