Stage 7 updates

Stage 7 became operational on 16 July 2007.

Stage 7 includes both amended content and new procedures. All sections of the manual have been reviewed, and where appropriate, amended or changed in the following ways:

  • all practice guidelines have been converted to procedures or integrated into existing procedures
  • links to other procedures, supporting documents and resources have been added and updated throughout the manual
  • the authority for procedures has been added, where applicable
  • a section entitled 'Responsibilities' has been added to some procedures (eg. SDM procedures)
  • terminology has been updated, as required (for example, the replacement of Crisis Care with Child Safety After Hours Service Centre (CSAHSC))
  • procedures have been edited, where required, to simplify or clarify existing content
  • nine new procedures have been introduced (as outlined below)
  • all SDM procedures have been edited to clarify the required steps, including general ICMS requirements. The SDM definitions have been moved from the appendices to the resources section of the following procedures:
    • GPiii Structured Decision Making™
    • 1.7 Completing the screening criteria and response priority tool
    • 2.10 Completing the safety assessment tool
    • 2.12 Completing the family risk evaluation tool
    • 4.3 Completing the child strengths and needs assessment tool
    • 4.4 Completing the parental strengths and needs assessment tool
    • 4.12 Minimum departmental contact requirements between the CSO and the family
    • 4.16 Completing the family risk re-evaluation tool
    • 4.17 Completing the family reunification assessment tool.
    • (The definitions are also included in the printed manual, following each of the above procedures).

This document provides an overview of the key Stage 7 content changes, and the trigger for the changes, for example, a Child Death Case Review recommendation. Other changes are based on policy development and research, and staff feedback.

The Children and young people's participation strategy 2006-2009, has been developed with input from departmental staff and external stakeholders, including consultation with young people by CREATE Foundation and young people involved with the 'Out Loud' group in Townsville. The strategy incorporates a vision and framework for children and young people's participation and a detailed implementation plan.

This section provides staff with information about:

  • the right of all children and young people to participate in decision-making about their own life
  • the interface between the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Child Protection Act 1999
  • the facilitiation of the participation of children and young people in decision making, both informal and formal participation
  • overcoming barriers to participation.

New general procedures:

  • The role of the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre: outlines the key roles and responsibilities of the CSAHSC and the interface between the CSAHSC and CSSCs.
  • x. Writing affidavits: provides a guide for staff when preparing affidavits for applications in the Childrens Court, under the Child Protection Act 1999, to ensure the most relevant information is before the court to inform their decision.
  • xi. Responding to client complaints: provides an overview of the process for responding to client complaints through the department's complaint management system.
  • xii. Recording alerts for a child and family: this procedure was previously in chapter 2, but has been moved to reflect the fact that an alert can be recorded at any time for a child or other person. It also reflects changes introduced with ICMS, in particular, expanding the information around recording suicide risk alert and details of the immediate suicide risk management plan, within 24 hours of assessing the child as a high suicide risk. Note: the ICMS functionality will not be fully introduced until the release of ICMS 3.1.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • ii. Staff safety and wellbeing: a minor amendment to the information on general precautions for work conducted away from the office, to add - 'where appropriate', insist on being accompanied by another departmental officer.
  • iv. Statutory obligation to notify the Queensland Police Service of possible criminal offences: amended to include missing information from the Schedule of offences. This included the offence of murder and the content and description for torture.
  • v. Case management: this procedure has been edited to include additional information in the key objectives of case management and the responsibilities of the CSO.
  • vi. Information sharing: (policy and ICMS initiated amendment) includes new information about the access, use and disclosure of youth justice information on ICMS, and the need to provide notifiers from government and non-government agencies with feedback where safety issues are identified.
  • vii. Making a referral to Evolve: content updated to:
    • clarify the referral criteria to specify that a child must be subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive and placed in out-of-home care
    • including information about ensuring the best interests of the child is the primary consideration when working with other agencies.
  • viii. Referral for active intervention services: Updates the names of relevant CSSCs in the RAI services table.

All sections have been edited and the chapter has been reordered.

One new procedure:

  • 1.10 Recording additional concerns prior to the approval of a notification: this procedure has been separated from the procedure on recording a notification. As a result of the introduction of ICMS, any new concerns received about a child/family once an intake (notification) event has been approved, will be recorded as additional concerns in the investigation and assessment event.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 1.1 Intake: an overview: this section now includes information from the key concepts for the intake phase procedure and the role of the CSO during the intake phase procedure from Stage 6.
  • 1.2 Notifiers: This section has amended content clarifying who notifier information can be shared with, and under what circumstances. This includes the QPS, a recognised entity and SCAN AM Team members because they all perform functions under the Child Protection Act 1999. It also requires that staff inform other parties that they are bound by the confidentiality provisions of the Child Protection Act 1999, division 2.
  • 1.6 Pre-notification checks: this includes a statement to clearly articulate that 'Pre-notification checks are not required for all notifications and are not used for matters of concern.
  • 1.8 Responding to a child concern report: The table for Referral for active intervention services has been updated.
  • 1.9 Recording a notification: the responsibilities of the CSO and team leader have been added, including the requirement for team leaders to approve the structured decision making tools and notifications, prior to their transfer to another CSSC for the I&A to occur.
  • 1.13 Moving a child to a safe place - section 21: changes have been made to the recording section of the procedure, in line with ICMS requirements.
  • 1.14 Recording sensitive clients: an amendment has been made to reflect the new ICMS role of 'sensitivity manager', who is responsible for determining who requires access to the client files and who will authorise access to individual departmental officers.

All sections have been edited.

One new procedure:

  • 2.6 Recording additional concerns during investigation and assessment: this procedure outlines the process for recording additional notified concerns in an the investigation and assessment event, once the investigation and assessment has commenced. It reflects the new process of recording in ICMS.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 2.1 Investigation and assessment: an overview: the inclusion of:
    • the need to assess whether the child has a parent able and willing to protect them, in the purpose of an Investigation and assessment
    • the need to plan for the transfer of the investigation and assessment to another CSSC, where relevant
    • advice that it might be appropriate, in certain circumstances for the CSO to share the identity of the notifier with the recognised entity to assist them to perform their functions under the Child Protection Act 1999.
  • 2.2 Planning the investigation and assessment: includes the following:
    • The CSSC with responsibility for the I&A is required to immediately undertake planning with the other CSSC whenever an I&A is to be transferred.
    • (Child Death Case Review recommendation) I&A plans are to be recorded electronically, except in rare circumstances, where the child's immediate safety must be responded to. Verbal approval for the plan must be sought from the TL and the decision for the delay recorded.
    • (Child Death Case Review recommendation) A new section on consulting with Queensland Health, including:
      • determining if the child is an inpatient
      • gathering information and consulting with key health professionals
      • consultation about a newborn children prior to the child's discharge.
    • Need to consult with other services to gather information about any child protection concerns, support or cultural issues, and consider whether the service may be able to provide assistance to the family during the I&A.
  • 2.3 Joint investigations with the Queensland Police Service: includes the following:
    • Rewording of the section on ICARE interviews, to clarify terminology, for example, 'when a child makes disclosures of harm relating to a criminal offence…'
    • Clarification of issues relating interview information that constitutes a 93A criminal statement pursuant to the Evidence Act 1977, section 93A, and the use of the 'Request for information pursuant to chapter 5A' form to obtain this information form the QPS.
    • There are circumstances where the CSO may provide the identity of the notifier when this will assist the QPS to perform their functions under the Child Protection Act 1999.
  • 2.5 Telling parents about the allegation of harm and outcome of the investigation and assessment: information provision must include:
    • sufficient information so the parent/s understand the reasons for departmental intervention, without identifying the notifier
    • the I&A outcome and rationale for any harm or risk of harm and/or the protective and care needs identified
    • the rationale for opening an ongoing intervention case, to assist parent/s participation ability to meet the child's needs in the future.
  • 2.7 The role of a support person: when interviewing children, the CSO is responsible for:
    • ensuring the child feels safe and supported during the interview process, and assisting the child identify an appropriate support person of their choice to be present during the interview
    • asking the child whether they are comfortable with the support person present.
  • 2.8 Interviewing and sighting children: includes the following:
    • (Child Death Case Review recommendation) Outlines exceptional circumstances where interviewing a child is inappropriate or not possible, for example, a child with a serious illness. This decision to be made in consultation with a team leader and the rationale clearly documented.
    • 2 people present for interviews, either 2 CSOs or a CSO and police officer.
    • The CSO is responsible for ensuring the child feels safe and supported and has an appropriate support person of their choice present during the interview process.
  • 2.9 Interviewing parents and other adults: includes:
    • Gather information about the parent/s understanding of the child's physical and cognitive development.
    • The CSO will assist in making a referral to an appropriate crisis service, where appropriate.
    • Includes contact information about dvconnect.
    • Consideration required before challenging a DV perpetrator in the presence of the victim, and should not occur when the victim is present.
  • 2.15 Investigation and assessment outcomes: includes:
    • (Child Death Case Review recommendation) Requirement for all subject child in a notification, to be a subject child in the I&A with an outcome recorded, even if their circumstances change during the I&A.
    • Substance testing of parents: CSOs to contact an ATODs professional to gain general, non-identifying advice or knowledge in relation to drug and/or alcohol issues, prior to finalising the I&A.
    • An updated list of CSSCs in the RAI services table.
  • 2.16 Recording an investigation and assessment: This procedure has significant amendments, and now refers more broadly to the range of information that is required for the completion of an investigation and assessment event in ICMS.

The key changes are outlined below:

  • 2 practice guidelines on assessment orders converted to procedures
  • 1 practice guideline on the use of powers deleted, with relevant information included into the remaining procedures
  • the procedures on the use of powers have been reordered and renamed
  • content has been amended to reflect the recording of the use of powers in ICMS
  • 3.2 Having contact with a child in school, child care centre or family day care - section 17: a new requirement related to support persons for a child being interviewed at school. The CSO is required to ensure the child feels safe and supported during the interview process, and that they have a support person of their choice, from that location, present. Note: a person to whom the child has disclosed, may be required as a witness in a criminal proceedings and should not be the child's support person at the interview.

In this chapter the practice guidelines have been converted to procedures, and combined where appropriate.

One new procedure:

  • 4.14 Substance testing of parents: outlines the process for facilitating the substance testing of parents in cases where there are indicators that parents are engaging in serious and persistent substance misuse, which contributed to a child being in need of protection. The procedure:
    • defines substances and outlines indicators
    • outlines the role of the senior practitioner
    • determining when to request substance testing
    • outlines the involvement of ATODS and the testing process
    • resources - parent/s have to pay for the testing
    • need to obtain the parents consent for the testing - use of directive orders
    • testing methods, facilitating the testing and interpreting test results
    • responding to positive tests
    • substance testing as part of the assessment, planning, implementation and review cycle
    • non-compliance by a parent
    • information about Drugs of Dependence Unit.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 4.1 Ongoing intervention and case planning: Inclusion of information on 'Reunification'
    • Reunification is the preferred permanency outcome.
    • Any conflict between the welfare and best interests of the child and the interests of an adult carer, must be resolved in favour of the child.
    • Reunification cannot occur when the child's parent/s present with convictions outlined in the 'List of Criminal Offences Preventing Reunification'.
    • Ongoing substance testing of parents must be considered, following the reunification of a child, where there has been serious and persistent substance misuse by parents, contributing to a child being in need of protection.
  • 4.5 Case planning and family group meetings: (Child Death Case Review recommendation)Additional requirement included that when a case is to be transferred to another CSSC - the CSO who will have ongoing case responsibility to attend the FGM. Where this is not able to occur (rare circumstances), both CSOs will ensure that the case plan developed is discussed with the family when the new CSO is introduced to the family.
  • 4.8 Developing key items in the case plan: updated to reflect the new case plan that was developed in ICMS
  • 4.17 Completing the family reunification assessment tool: includes:
    • Inclusion of a section on 'Criminal convictions preventing reunification':
    • The family reunification assessment tool will not be completed where a parent who has a specified conviction, and the case plan goal for the child will be 'alternative long-term stable living arrangements for the child', not reunification.
    • Outlines the circumstances where the case plan goal may still be reunification, where only one of the child's parents has a conviction.
    • Where one parent is not aware of another parent's conviction, the CSO will not disclose the specifics of the criminal history to the second parent without written consent.
    • Outlines the process and authority required for conducting criminal history checks on parents when investigating an allegation of harm or risk of harm to a child, or assessing a child's need for protection.
    • The need to consider parental substance following the reunification of the child, where there is a history of serious and persistent substance misuse.
    • The requirement to apply for a child protection order granting long-term guardianship where the decision is made to pursue an alternative long-term placement for a child, and consider whether an application to the Family Court of Australia by a kinship carer for the child, may be appropriate (including further consultation with a recognised entity for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child).

In this chapter the practice guidelines and procedures for support service cases and intervention with parental agreement have been amalgamated. Key practice changes are:

  • 5.2 Intervention with parental agreement: The inclusion of a statement, 'Risk to the child must be the primary consideration in considering if intervention with parental agreement is appropriate. Case planning will include the development of strategies to lessen the risk factors and enable the child to remain safely in the home'.
  • 5.3 Care agreements: inclusion of the requirement to provide the 'Child information form' to a health professional, when the child (who is subject to an extension of a care agreement) has been referred for a baseline health assessment.

The practice guideline has been converted to a procedure. No practice changes.

In this chapter, existing practice guidelines and procedures have been amalgamated. There has been some reordering of the procedures and the practice guideline and procedure for support and supervision of carers has been moved to Chapter 8: Regulation of care.

The key practice changes are found in the following procedures:

  • 7.2 Pre-placement matching: includes:
    • (Initiated by feedback from the field) An extra category in the Behaviour /Characteristics of Support levels Table.
    • A rewording about the use of the child strengths and needs assessment to assist with pre-placement matching.
    • Interstate placements: requires consideration that provisional approval of a kinship carer may not be appropriate where distance and monitoring is an issue. As far as possible, the full assessment as a kinship carer should be completed prior to a placement occuring.
  • 7.3 Placement of a child under section 82(1)(f): (feedback from the Licensing of Care Services Unit) The Placement table has been amended to remove commercial accommodation arrangements from the list of 'Examples of placements made under section 82(1)(f)' to be included in the 'Examples of placements NOT under section 82(1)(f)'.
  • 7.6 Commencement of an out-of-home care placement:
    • (Clarifying of delegations) Addition of the requirement for the placement decision to be approved by either:
      • the CSSC manager
      • the manager or a team leader (Child Safety After Hours Service Centre (CSAHSC))
      • the zonal director.
    • Refers the CSO to the relevant procedures, when a new placement results in the case transfer process.
    • The addition of the obligation of the department to respect the child's privacy AND share information that assists a carer respond to a child's needs, and protects the carer and members of their household from potential harm. Where the child objects to the disclosure of sensitive information about themselves, the CSO will assess whether disclosing the information is necessary to meet the care needs of the child.
    • The addition of the requirement to provide a carer or another entity with the child's health passport, if applicable.
  • 7.10 Family contact for children in out-of-home care: combines information previously found in chapter 4 and 7 about family contact, along with new information:
    • Overnight contact: the CSSC manager has the discretion to determine whether carers must be approved for planned overnight or holiday contact with a kinship member, either in Queensland, another state, territory or New Zealand.
    • Outlines the process for assessing kinship members in Queensland, when it will not be subject to regulation of care requirements, including interviews, departmental records, and completion of the 'Assessment for the purpose of family contact/holiday'.
    • Kinship member can only receive financial support for the placement, if they become an approved carer for the child.
    • Refers to the process for assessing kinship members in another jurisdication, as outlined in Chapter 17, Interstate matters.
    • The decision for a child to travel interstate or overseas is a separate decision requiring the consent of the child's guardian.
  • 7.12 Deciding custody and guardianship matters for children in out-of-home care: combines information previously found in chapter 4 and chapter 7 about family contact, along with new information:
    • Decisions and/or consents re: custody and guardianship matters may be reviewed by a senior departmental officer or, through external review mechanisms, at the request of the child or a person (for example, parent or carer) acting on their behalf. Inclusion of additional decisions in the delegations table.
    • Day excursions involving high and very high risk activities (team leader).
    • Sporting or recreational activities involving high and very high risk activities (team leader).
    • Overseas travel: outlines the process for approval for overseas travel:
      • the DG must approve any costs associated with overseas travel
      • the Minister must be advised of the child's overseas travel, whether or not (departmental) financial assistance is required to support the travel.
    • Addition of information re: 'Child employment: entertainment industry'
    • Legislative changes to the regulation covering the employment of children in the entertainment industry took effect from 1 January 2007:
      • 40 hours per week limit to the amount of work for children can perform to
      • outline education requirements for children working in the entertainment industry and
      • clarifies the role of parents and supervisors.
    • The legislation currently requires employers to inform parents of the existence of the guide and provide them with a copy if they request it, and to have a signed parenting consent form before employing the child.
  • 7.16 Child health passports and health plans: includes changes to clarify the existing process:
    • Clarification of the requirement that every child who remains in out-of-home care for 30 days or more is to have a child health passport. The process is to commence as soon as possible, and continues to apply for the length of time the child remains in out-of-home care.
    • The inclusion of requirements to provide the child's carer with copies of relevant child health passport documentation AND information provided to the carer in the 'Child information form' is to exclude parental health history information not relevant to responding to the child's medical needs).
    • The inclusion of information about Infectious or communicable diseases.
    • Departmental officers to ensure that persons who obtain or give medical information about a child or parent, are made aware of their responsibilities regarding confidentiality under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 187 and 188.
    • Includes the requirement for infection control processes to observe the principles of 'Information Standard No 42- Information Privacy' and any complaints regarding breaches of the standard to be dealt with through the complaints procedure outlined in the department's privacy plan.
    • Clarification of who may conduct baseline health assessments - general practitioners, Indigenous health services, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and outreach paediatric clinics in isolated areas and/or paediatricians (requires a referral by a GP).
    • the need to consider additional referrals that may assist in meeting the child's identified needs, for example, where an 'abnormal' impact score total is recorded from the SDQ for the child and noted on the 'Health check' form, an Evolve referral may be appropriate to the child's mental health or disability needs.
    • Updated steps for the completion of the Annual health check, which includes:
      • updating the 'Child information form'
      • providing all relevant documentation to the CPLO at least three working days prior to the appointment for the annual health check
      • receiving the Queensland Health Services Information Form from the CPLO
      • a specified list of documentation to be provided to the health professional conducting the annual health check.
    • The requirement to record a 'serious health condition' alert on the child's person record on ICMS, where a child has a life threatening medical condition.
    • The requirement to inform the new carer about any medical alerts for the child, including any life threatening medical condition, when the child changes placements.
  • 7.20 Transition from care - planning and support: includes:
    • Information about DETAs 'compulsory participation' requirement - all young people must participate in 'learning or earning':
      • for two years after they complete compulsory schooling (that is, have completed year 10 or turned 16 years of age) or
      • until they turn 17 years of age or
      • until they complete a Queensland Certificate of Education or a Certificate III (or higher level) vocational qualification.
    • SET plans: the school or learning provider (for example, TAFE institute) coordinates the process of supporting each young person's SET Plan.
    • the school principal should be the point of contact to ensure that the young person fulfils the requirements.
    • Child heath passports: Transition from care case planning to incorporate the identified health needs of the young person, as outlined in their health passport and health plan.
    • Young people with a disability: Transition from care case planning (and subsequent reviews) for young people with a disability, to involve appropriate officers from Disability Services and these officers will engage with the CSO for the young person, to assist the young person who is leaving the care of the State to plan their transition to adult supports and services funded or provided by Disability Services.
  • 7.21 The use of respite for children in out-of-home care: Inclusion of the following information on 'Respite - family contact/holiday':
    • (Amended to ensure consistency with 7.10 and 17.3) Where it is planned that a child will stay with a kinship member (eg. during school holidays), the CSSC manager will require the kinship member to undergo an assessment for the purpose of family contact. (The process is outlined in the procedure on family contact for children in out-of-home care and links with the procedure on Carer assessment requests to another jurisdiction).
    • Where the kinship member requests financial support for the placement, the fortnightly caring allowance can only be paid if the kinship member becomes an approved carer for the child.

This chapter has been reordered to follow the approval process of the different types of carer approval, beginning with provisionally approved carers, then kinship carers and then foster carers. The practice guidelines and procedures have been amalgamated, where appropriate and the application, assessment and approval process has been put into one procedure for each approval type.

One new procedure:

  • 8.19 Provision of approved carer and carer applicant's information to external parties: (Feedback form the field and the need to clarify the department's position with an increased number of foster and kinship carer services). This procedure outlines the process for providing approved carer and carer applicant/s information to external parties for the purpose of undertaking functions under the Child Protection Act 1999, including:
    • Preliminary considerations.
    • Prior to considering whether approved carer or carer applicant/s information can be provided to an external party, the CSO will ensure that at least one of the following conditions is met:
      • the information is necessary in order to perform functions under or in relation to administration of the Child Protection Act 1999 or
      • the information is related to the welfare or protection of a particular child.
    • Examples of functions under or in relation to administration of the Child Protection Act 1999 include:
      • completing an initial or renewal assessment of a foster or kinship carer applicant
      • providing support services to an approved carer.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 8.2 Key concepts for the assessment and approval of carers: The definition of 'Cessation of approval' is amended to include circumstances where the department makes a decision (any time after that applicant has lodged an application) not to re-approve the applicant/s.
  • 8.3 Provisional approval of carers: the key practice changes are:
    • amendments have been made to the approval timeframe for urgent provisional approval of a carer, giving the zonal director the delegated authority for the provisional approval of kinship or foster care applicants until advice of the outcome of the checks are received from the CSU
    • the requirement to provide the provisionally approved carer with a copy of the Carer Handbook.
  • 8.4 Amendment, suspension and cancellation of a provisionally approved carer's certificate of approval: when a provisionally approved carer/s certificate of approval is amended, the PAC must deliver the original certificate of approval to the CSSC manager within two days of receipt of the written notice (Child Protection Act 1999, section 141).
  • 8.5 The application, assessment and approval process for kinship carer applicants: includes the following new requirements:
    • provide the carer/s with a copy of the Carer Handbook unless they were previously issued with a copy as a provisionally approved carer.
    • the conduct of personal history checks should not delay the commencement of the assessment of the kinship carer applicant/s.
    • requirement to refer to the 'Adult Household Member Guidelines' to determine whether a person is considered to be an adult household member.
  • 8.6 The renewal of approval for kinship carers:
    • blue card application and blue card validation forms are only provided to the carer/s and or adult household members upon their application for renewal, where a blue card application or blue card validation form has not previously been provided to, and processed by, the Central Screening Unit (CSU).
    • the blue card requires renewal every two years, however, this does not occur as part of the application for renewal of a certificate of approval process, unless the CSU has not previously received, and processed, blue card application or validation forms for the carer and all adult household members.
    • referee checks do not need to be undertaken.
    • requirement to refer to the 'Adult Household Member Guidelines' to determine whether a person is considered to be an adult household member.
  • 8.9 The application, assessment and approval process for foster carer applicants: includes the following new requirements:
    •  
      • provide the carer/s with a copy of the Carer Handbook unless they were previously issued with a copy as a provisionally approved carer.
      • the conduct of personal history checks should not delay the commencement of the assessment of the kinship carer applicant/s.
      • requirement to refer to the 'Adult Household Member Guidelines' to determine whether a person is considered to be an adult household member.
  • 8.10 Personal history checks for carer applicants and other household members: includes:
    • an expanded definition of personal history, to include:
      • Personal history for foster and kinship carer applicant/s and other household members comprises of child protection history from Queensland and interstate. Domestic violence and traffic history may also be requested at the discretion of the CSU or the CSSC manager.
      • Personal history for provisionally approved carers includes the above checks, as well as criminal history from Queensland and interstate.
    • Personal history checks cannot be conducted until all signed forms and identification documents have been provided to the CSU.
    • If an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is unable to supply two identification documents (as listed in List 1 and List 2 in the 'APA form' so as to have their identity verified), the Commission will accept other forms of identification in conjunction with one List 1 or List 2 document. In this circumstance, the CSO will liaise with the CSU about the options for alternative forms of identification.
    • When an application is urgent, all signed forms and identification documents may be faxed to the CSU or sent to the CSU by express post (overnight delivery) so that the personal history check process can commence. If documents are faxed, the specified forms anddocuments must still be sent to the CSU as soon as possible (to assist in fulfilling the legislated 90 day timeframe for determining the approval of the application).
    • When another adult joins the household after the 'APA form' has been completed and lodged, the new household member will be required to complete the 'New adult household member' form and a blue card application or blue card validation form. In this circumstance, the approval process for the carer applicant/s can be completed prior to the new household member being issued with a blue card (or prior to the Commission validating the new household member's existing blue card) (Child Protection Act 1999, section 135(2)).
    • For overseas checks where International Social Services is unable to access criminal history checks, the CSO will contact the CSU to establish the process for requesting these histories directly, if available. The CSSC manager has the discretion to proceed with the application without this information, or to decide that a full assessment is unable to be undertaken without the completion of international checks.
    • Where an applicant lives outside of Queensland, an officer of a child protection authority in the place where the person lives can sight and sign the person's identification documents and verify the person's identity.
  • 8.12 Conducting, interpreting and recording the outcome of medical checks: (feedback from the field and policy clarification) includes:
    • medical practitioners will not be liable for any breach of confidentiality if they disclose information, once the FC has provided written consent for release of medical records
    • the signed consent does not compel a doctor to release records or speak about the client and where they will not do so, it is the applicant's responsibility to request the doctor to release information on their behalf
    • where medical issues are identified, a more detailed report about the impact on the applicant's capacity to provide care is to be sought, and plan for the management of the condition should the applicant be approved (a plan is not appropriate where a foster carer applicant or foster carer has an infectious or communicable disease, such as HIV or Hepatitis C, and the risk of transmission may be identified as grounds for refusal for foster care applicants).
  • 8.16 The support and supervision of carers: this procedure is an amalgamation of two sections that were previously in
    Chapter 7: 'The provision of support and supervision to carers' and 'Identifying and recording the support needs of carers in the placement agreement'. It also includes information on the foster and kinship carer support line that provides carers with greater access to after hours support.
  • 8.17 The renewal of approval for foster carers:
    • A new 'Household Safety Study' does not need to be completed where the mandatory requirements were previously met, unless the carer/s have changed address. The foster carer/s must, however, continue to meet the mandatory requirements.
    • Referee checks do not need to be undertaken.

The following two sections have been edited:

  • 9.5 Responding to a matter of concern for a child placed under section 82(1)(a-e) - notification: an additional outcome has been added for matters of concern - 'substantiated - no breach of standard', when
    • the child has experienced harm and/or is likely to experience future harm
    • there is no indication that the carer has failed to meet the standards of care required under the Child Protection Act 1999 .
  • 9.6 Responding to a matter of concern for a child placed under section 82(1)(f) - notification: an additional outcome has been added for matters of concern - 'substantiated - no breach of standard', when:
    • the child has experienced harm and/or is likely to experience future harm
    • there is no indication that the carer has failed to meet the standards of care required under the Child Protection Act 1999.
  • 10.1 Unborn children - responding to concerns prior to a child's birth: The key content changes include:
    • removal of the option for recording a 'substantiated - child not in need of protection' as an outcome for an unborn child
    • the CSO to seek confirmation that the woman is not pregnant from the woman's medical practitioner, without the woman's consent
    • The CSO to complete the 'Record of actions - mobile family' as part of completing the investigation and assessment event, when the woman cannot be located.

The previous practice guideline and procedure have been rearranged into two procedures. The key content changes include:

  • 11.1 Transferring investigation and assessment cases: the receiving CSSC (or CSAHSC) is responsible for approving the screening criteria, response priority and notification, prior to transferring them to another CSSC.
  • 11.2 Transferring ongoing intervention cases: minor amendment clarifying the requirement not to transfer an ongoing intervention case when a child, subject to an appeal of a child protection order, is placed outside the area of the CSSC with case responsibility during the court process and the appeal has been filed in the court for less than eight weeks.
  • 12.1 Professional supervision: This practice guideline has been converted to a procedure and had references to recording in ICMS included.
  • 13.1 Critical incident reporting: This practice guideline has been converted to a procedure and has been amended to reflect the requirement for the development of suicide risk management plans in some circumstances.

The key changes to the procedures are outlined below:

  • 14.1 Child death case reviews: updated to any other action under the Child Protection Act 1999, even if not recorded at the time of the child's death. All child death case reviews are undertaken by an independent reviewer who is contracted by the Director-General to undertake the review in collaboration with a departmental reviewer.
  • 14.2 Child death case review process: amended requirements about the provision of case information to the Case Review Unit following the death of a child (reduced from two copies to one copy), including the need to provide records of structured decision making tools and deleting references to CPS.
  • 14.3 Recording information following the death of a child: The following requirement has been added, 'Where documents are 'in progress' at the time of the child's death, the document needs to clearly identify which information was recorded before the death of the child and what was recorded after the death of the child'.

The existing procedures have been amended to reflect the legislative amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 in 2006, in relation to parenting orders.

One new procedure:

  • 15.5 Responding to Hague Convention (child abduction) matters: outlines the process for responding to matters that relate to the Hague Convention when a child has been wrongfully removed from, or retained outside, their country of habitual residence.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 15.1 Working with the Family Court of Australia: includes additional consideration for parenting orders including:
    • the form of consultations persons are to have with one another about decisions to be made
    • the communication a child is to have with another person or other persons
    • rewording of the statement that 'Whether or not there are proceedings in the Family Court, the department has the lead responsibility to ensure the child's safety and need for protection'
    • under the Family Law Rules 2004, rule 6.02(2), the CE must be served as a respondent to any application relating to a child subject to a care agreement, assessment order or child protection order. Documents must be served via the manager of Court Services Unit.
  • 15.4 Responding to allegations of harm to a child when there are current proceedings in the Family Court of Australia: includes:
    • the addition of the requirement for family court personnel to report to the department if they suspect a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm (Family Law Act 1975, section 67Z and 67ZA, using Form 4 - Notice of Child Abuse/Family Violence form)
    • Inclusion of IPA case and child protection care agreements in response to a child is in need of protection
    • if the department intervenes, it is taken to be a party to the proceedings, and is bound by any orders the Court makes, however, sometimes may seek leave to withdraw from proceedings. The department may be involved by either:
      • becoming a party to the proceedings, where Crown Law will be instructed to act on behalf of the department or
      • a departmental officer attending to assist the court as a 'friend' of the court.

No practice changes were made to the chapter. Amendments were made to the following two procedures:

  • 16.1 Youth justice and interface: an overview: this practice guideline was converted to a procedure, and information from the previous practice guideline on youth justice concepts and definitions, has been included.
  • 16.3 Youth justice clients subject to investigation and assessment : minor amendments have been made to update information re: re SCAN System referrals.

Stage 7 also uses the term jurisdiction, when referring to interstate matters, now that all states, territories and New Zealand are a party to the Interstate Protocol (the Protocol).

One new procedure:

  • 17.8 Interstate and New Zealand travel for children subject to a child protection order: this procedure outlines the process for obtaining consent for a child subject to a Queensland child protection order granting custody or guardianship to a person other than the child's parents, to travel within Australia and to New Zealand.

This procedure aligns with the information found in Chapter 7.10 Deciding custody and guardianship matter for children in out-of-home care.

The key changes to other procedures are outlined below:

  • 17.1 Interstate matters: includes:
    • The requirement for all requests to and from another jurisdiction (with the exception of child protection history checks), must be directed through the ILO at Court Services Unit.
    • Updated information about the Protocol, which has now been agreed to by all states, territories and New Zealand, is in the final stages of being formally reviewed and updated, and should come into force during 2007.
    • The requirement that all carers for a child subject to a Queensland child protection order living in another jurisdiction, must meet all the requirements for approval of carers in Queensland.
    • The CSSC with case management responsibility for a child placed in another jurisdiction, remains financially responsible for the child, including returning the child to that jurisdiction, if the other jurisdiction cannot locate a suitable placement for the child.
  • 17.2 Requests from Queensland to another jurisdiction - alerts, notifications and open investigation and assessments: The previous 'Request for Interstate Notification/Alert' template, has been replaced with two new forms 'Request for Interstate Notification', 'Request for Interstate Alert'.
  • 17.3 Carer assessment requests to another jurisdiction: This section has changed in keeping with the approved carers requirements and processes for Queensland carers. It outlines:
    • two amended processes when the department requests another jurisdiction to undertake an assessment for:
      • a kinship or foster carer applicant, who is proposed to provide care for a child
      • a kinship member, for the purpose of a family contact visit/holiday with.
    • one new process when the department requests another jurisdiction to undertake an assessment of a parent, for the purposes of reunification, using the 'Reunification Assessment Request' template.
  • 17.4 Transfer of casework tasks to another jurisdiction: The inclusion of the requirement that case work requests to other jurisdictions must be negotiated and should be for a time limited period.
  • 17.5 Transferring child protection orders and child protection proceedings from Queensland to another jurisdiction: this procedure now includes the transfer to orders to New South Wales. The following changes have been made to the Administrative transfer from Queensland to another jurisdiction section:
    • Both short and long-term child protection orders can be transferred.
    • Custody orders cannot be transferred to Western Australia, Northern Territory or New South Wales.
    • The steps for undertaking an administrative order have been amended to clarify the process, including requirements for forwarding documentation and preparing photocopies of all relevant electronic and file material for the accepting jurisdiction.
    • rewording of the section on PASP to include details of any High Support Needs allowance paid to the carer, as part of the transfer request.
    • The responsibility of the CSO, once the ILO has advised that the order has been registered in the court in the other jurisdiction, to cease payment to the carers, finalise records on ICMS and forward a photocopy of all relevant file material to the manager of the relevant office in the other jurisdiction.
  • 17.6 Locating a non-relative placement in another jurisdiction: The following changes have been made to the procedure:
    • All possible kinship care options should be explored in the other jurisdiction before making a request to locate a non-relative placement.
    • If a placement is located, the potential carer/s must meet all the requirements for approval of carers in Queensland.
    • A request to locate a placement in another jurisdiction remains current for six months and is then closed. There is a possibility of submitting a further request, if it is determined the child's needs are best met by the child residing in another jurisdiction.
    • Such request must consider the difficulty all jurisdictions experience in locating non-relative placements, especially for older children, children with challenging behaviour/management issues and sibling groups, and whether or not the parent is highly mobile.
  • 17.10 Carer assessment requests from another jurisdiction: includes the following:
    • the addition of information about requests for an assessment for the purposes of reunifying a child with their parents, which includes the role of the ILO and the CSSC in completing the assessment.
    • This assessment processes does not require blue card or screening checks through the Central Screening Unit, or completion of the 'Kinship Carer Assessment Tool', 'Household Safety Study' or 'Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire'.
  • 17.12 Transferring child protection orders and child protection proceedings from another jurisdiction to Queensland: Includes the following additional requirements:
    • ensuring that the carer/s become approved carers in Queensland, before consenting to the transfer of the order.
    • the responsibility of the CSO for:
      • providing the family with a copy of the registration of the order
      • arranging for carer payments to commence from the date that the order was registered in the local court
      • completing the relevant ongoing intervention event case management screens on ICMS
      • advising the ILO of the date that payments started in Queensland.
    • the responsibility of the ILO for:
      • advising the other jurisdiction of this date, so that the carer payments in that jurisdiction can cease on this date
      • arranging for a copy of the children's interstate files to be sent to the CSSC.
  • 17.13 Requests from another jurisdiction to locate a non-relative placement in Queensland: The inclusion of information that where a placement is found for another jurisdiction, the carers do not have to become approved carers in Queensland. Requests to locate a placement in Queensland will remain active in the CSSC for six months, although 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.