Stage 5 of the practice manual includes the practice changes resulting from the Stage 3 legislative amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999. The key changes are outlined below and are found in the following chapters:
- Chapter 1: Intake
- Chapter 2: Investigation and assessment:
- Chapter 4: Ongoing intervention
- Chapter 5: Intervention with parental agreement:
- Chapter 7: Children in out of home care:
- Chapter 8: Regulation of care
- Chapter 9: Matters of concern
Practice changes (legislative amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999)
Recognised entities and decision-making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
The Child Protection Act 1999, section 6, introduces recognised entities as a replacement for recognised agencies, including:
- the requirement for the department to provide a recognised entity with the opportunity to participate in the decision-making for all significant decisions in relation to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child;
- the requirement for the department to consult with a recognised entity on all other decisions in relation to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child;
- the introduction of a hierarchy of placements in legislation for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children who are placed in out-of-home care ( Child Placement Act 1999, section 83); and
- there is a a new practice guideline that outlines significant decisions and what 'opportunity to participate' means for recognised entities.
Amendments have been made to Chapter 4: Ongoing Intervention to include enhanced cultural support requirements as part of the case planning process.
The introduction of two types of Care Agreement to replace placement with parental consent (or previously shared family care placements), including new timeframes. A child may be placed in an out-of-home placement with the parent's agreement under:
- an 'assessment care agreement': when the child is placed during an investigation and assessment; and
- a 'child protection care agreement': when the child is placed during ongoing intervention and there is no custody or guardianship order to the chief executive.
The regulation of care
Changes to the regulation of care include:
- the introduction of approved kinship carers (to replace relative carers);
- the introduction of renewal of approval processes for kinship carers;
- the introduction of provisionally approved carers (and the removal of limited approval carers);
- the introduction of a pre-condition that all carer applicants and adult household members hold a current positive prescribed notice or 'blue card', which is administered by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian;
- the implementation of a Central Screening Unit to manage personal history checks for carer applicants;
- the legislative requirement that the standards of care ( Child Protection Act 1999 , section 122) be applied for all children placed under the Child Protection Act 1999 , section 82, including children placed by the department with another entity; and
- new procedures for responding to matters of concern in relation to children placed in an out-of-home care placement under ( Child Protection Act 1999 , section 82(1)(f).
Other practice changes
Other changes to the practice manual include:
Stage 5 includes a new chapter, Chapter 17: Interstate matters, which outlines the arrangements for transferring information and matters between Queensland and other states, territories and New Zealand.
Vexatious and malicious notifiers
There is a new practice guideline about managing and responding to vexatious and malicious notifiers.
Notifications and investigation and assessments
There is a range of practice improvements in relation to recording notifications and initial assessments, including:
- a new practice guideline and procedure for recording of notifications, that introduces a one-to-one relationship between notifications and investigation and assessments;
- new practice guideline and procedure on deleting or downgrading a notification;
- a new chapter on recording sensitive clients;
- new information in the investigation and assessment planning stage, about the need to obtain information about the cultural identity of subject children and their families; and
- a new guideline about informing parents about allegations of harm to children and the outcome of an investigation and assessment.
There is an updated practice guideline and a new procedure with information about the SCAN System.
Participation of children in high risk activities
There is a new practice guideline about the participation of children (in out-of-home care) in high risk and very high risk activities.
Children with sexual abuse histories
There is a new practice guideline about placement and case work issues relating to children with a sexual abuse history (children who have been sexually abused and/or who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviour).
There is a new procedure to inform the process of applying for a medicare card for a child subject to a child protection order.
Transition from care
There is updated information about Transition from Care for young people aged 15 - 18 years.