Stage 6 updates

Released online on 14 December 2006. Operational from 1 January 2007.

Stage 6 includes both amended content and new procedures. Stage 6 also introduces a new chapter of general procedures. The new chapter includes procedures that span the child protection continuum, rather than sitting in a particular chapter. The Stage 6 content is outlined below with a summary of the changes.

  • Decision making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children: moved from chapter 1.3, with updated 'SCAN System' content.
  • Staff safety and well-being: new procedure, previously a practice paper entitled 'Worker safety in child protection practice'.
  • Structured decision making: includes content from previous introduction section and 'Appendix C: SDM'.
  • Statutory obligation to notify QPS regarding possible criminal offences - section 14(2): new procedure that outlines the requirements for notifying the police of suspected criminal offences, as outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2).
  • Case management: content from previous introduction chapter.
  • Information sharing: previously a practice paper.
  • Making a referral to Evolve: new procedure for making referrals to Evolve services, which are being rolled out across Queensland.
  • Referral for active intervention services: new procedure for making referrals to RAI prevention and early intervention services in 10 locations across Queensland.

All sections have been edited. The key practice changes are outlined below:

  • 1.4 Notifiers: This section has additional content about notifiers, additional notifiers and confidentiality provisions, and clarifies the mandatory reporting requirements under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 148.
  • 1.6 Providing feedback to notifiers from government and non-government agencies: includes the requirement to advise notifiers from government or non-government agencies of the department's intended response, where the information is critical to the notifying agency, or, if a safety issue is identified.
  • 1.7 Gathering information from the notifier: this combines the previous practice guideline and the information gathering guide from Stage 5.
  • 1.9 Pre-notification checks: minor amendments to clarify the procedure and include the participation of recognised entities for indigenous children.
  • 1.11 Completing the screening criteria tool: this is an amended procedure that now contains all procedural information for screening criteria tool and has the definitions attached as a resource.
  • 1.12 Completing the response priority tool: this is an amended procedure that now contains all procedural information for response priority tool and has the definitions attached as a resource.
  • 1.13 Responding to a child concern report: amendments to include information about RAI referrals.
  • 1.14 Recording a notification: the previous practice guideline and procedure have been combined and the interim guideline for recording additional concerns has been included.
  • 1.17 Downgrading or deleting an approved notification: the previous practice guideline and procedure have been combined into one procedure.

The following sections have been amended:

  • 2.1 Investigation and assessment: an overview: amendments in relation to the need for a holistic assessment and the need to ask specific questions to determine whether a child or other person is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and record the information.
  • 2.2 Planning the investigation and assessment: minor amendments, in particular in relation to the SCAN System, the approval of the investigation plan prior to commencing an investigation and assessment, and planning interviews.
  • 2.5 Joint investigations with the Police: this section has expanded content to inform the joint investigation process, including information about joint planning, interviews, ICARE interviews and SCAN System referrals.
  • 2.9 Interviewing and sighting children: additional requirements in relation to interviewing children.
  • 2.10 Interviewing parents and other adults: minor amendments.
  • 2.11 Safety assessment: includes clarification of issues in relation to 'private arrangements' and the use of care agreements.
  • 2.12 Completing a safety assessment: minor amendments only.
  • 2.14 When a child and family cannot be located: minor amendments only.
  • 2.17 Investigation and assessment outcomes: includes minor edits, clarifies the age a child can be recorded as a person responsible, requires a CSSC manager approve an investigation and assessment undertaken by a team leader and includes information about RAI referrals.
  • 2.20 The SCAN System: the previous practice guideline and procedure have been combined and amended in keeping with updated SCAN System procedures.
  • 5.5 Care agreements: amended to include additional requirements when considering use of a care agreement, including:
    • the involvement of both parents when parents reside separately and/or one parent does not agree to the child being placed in out-of-home care
    • the interface with family court orders or parenting plans and care agreements
    • clarification of the maximum time for a child protection care agreement in a 12 month period
    • the use of private arrangements.

The sections within chapter 7 have been rearranged and there are four new procedures and three amended procedures, as outlined below:

  • 7.2 Providing out-of-home care to children: minor amendments relating to Education Support Plans.
  • 7.3 Pre-placement matching: new procedure.
  • 7.4 Placement of a child under section 82(1)(f): amended to clarify procedures and for the process of placing a child under section 82(1)(f).
  • 7.15 Participation of children in high and very high risk activities: amended to join the high and very high risk categories, and provide examples of these activities.
  • 7.16 Decision-making about end of life medical treatment of a child in out-of-home care: new procedure.
  • 7.17 Obligations, actions and responsibilities upon the death of a child in out-of-home care: new procedure.
  • 7.21 Child health passports and health plans: new procedure.

The sections within chapter 8 have been rearranged, a number of guidelines and procedures have been combined and there are four new procedures and three amended procedures, as outlined below:

  • 8.3 Enquiries about becoming a foster carer: minor amendments only.
  • 8.4 Provisional approval of foster and kinship carer applicants: minor amendments only.
  • 8.5 Provisional approval of carers: a range of amendments to the assessment and approval process, including personal history screening requirements.
  • 8.7 Application for a certificate of approval or renewal of a certificate of approval as a carer: amended to include foster and kinship carer applicants, and amends the procedure for the lodgement of forms and personal history checks.
  • 8.8 The initial assessment of foster carer applicants: amendments to the recording of an assessment.
  • 8.9 Personal history checks for carer applicants and other household members: updated information about personal history checks, the role of the CSU, requesting DV and traffic history, interstate and international CP history checks and record keeping.
  • 8.15 Approving initial carer applications: combines the decision-making and approval process for foster and kinship carer applicants.
  • 8.17 Conducting an assessment for the renewal of approval of a foster carer applicant: updates the renewal of approval and recording processes.
  • 8.18 Decision-making with regard to a carer who has made an application to renew their certificate of approval: minor amendments only.
  • 8.19 The initial assessment of kinship carer applicants: the previous practice guideline and procedures have been combined and amended.
  • 8.20 The renewal of approval for kinship carers: minor amendments.
  • 8.23 Amendment, suspension and cancellation of a provisionally approved carer's certificate of approval: minor amendments to the procedure for suspension or cancellation of a provisionally approved carer's certificate of approval.
  • 9.5 Responding to a matter of concern for a child placed under section 82(1)(a-e) - notification: amendments to this procedure in relation to who should be interviewed as part of investigation and assessment and removing the mandatory need to refer MOC to the SCAN AM Team.
  • 9.6 Responding to a matter of concern for a child placed under section 82(1)(f) - notification: amendments to this procedure in relation to who should be interviewed as part of investigation and assessment and removing the mandatory need to refer MOC to the SCAN AM Team.
  • 10.1 Unborn children - responding to concerns prior to a child's birth: the previous practice guideline and procedure have been combined and amended.
  • Appendix C - SDM: Information included in the beginning of the appendices has been moved to the general procedures section. The definitions for the screening criteria and response priority tools are now a linked resource in the relevant procedures (1.11 and 1.12)