Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

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Blue cards and exemption cards for carers

A blue card or exemption card is a card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG) and indicates that a person is eligible to work with children and young people in Queensland. By law, all foster and kinship carers and their adult household members are required to hold a blue card or exemption card.

To determine a person's eligibility to hold a blue card, CCYPCG conducts a 'Working with children check'. This is a detailed national check of a person's criminal history, including any charges or convictions, as well as any disciplinary information held by certain professional organisations. It also includes police investigation information into allegations of serious child-related sexual offences.

Some frequently asked questions about blue cards or exemption cards for carers:

Does anyone else in my household require a blue card or exemption card?

All adult members who live in your household will need to apply for and receive a blue card or exemption card before you can be approved as a carer. If you are already an approved carer, all adult members of your household require a blue card or exemption card.

Regular visitors to your home may be required to obtain a blue card depending on the type of contact they will have with children and the regularity of the visits. This will be determined by rules contained in the Child Protection Act 1999 as well as our departmental policy.

You should talk to your child safety officer about any regular visitors to your household to determine if they also require a blue card or exemption card.

How do I apply for a blue card or exemption card?

Blue card and exemption card applications are part of the process of becoming a foster or kinship carer. Your child safety officer will provide you and the other adult members of your household with blue card or exemption card application forms.

If you are already a foster or kinship carer, refer to Blue cards for existing carers and their adult household members for information on renewing and applying for a blue card.

What happens if I am refused a blue card or exemption card?

Carers and the other adult members of their household must have a blue card or exemption card before they can be approved as carers by our department.

If you are refused a blue card or exemption card, you will be informed of your rights to have the decision reviewed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. In some circumstances, depending on the nature of the offence that has resulted in the refusal of the blue card or exemption card, applicants will not have a right of review.

Certain people are disqualified from applying for a blue card. A person is disqualified if any of the following apply:

  • they have been convicted of a disqualifying offence (including a child-related sex or pornography offence, or the murder of a child)
  • they are a reportable offender with current reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004
  • they are subject to a child protection offender prohibition order
  • they are subject to a disqualification order prohibiting them from applying for or holding a blue card.

For further information, refer to the 'Disqualification from applying or holding a blue card' information sheet on the CCYPCG website.

If your application is refused, and a review by the tribunal is unsuccessful, you will be unable to be approved as a carer by our department.

What happens if an adult member of my household is refused a blue card or exemption card?

You cannot be approved as a carer unless you and all adult members of your household have a blue card or exemption card. If you are faced with a situation where an adult member of your household is unable to obtain a blue card or exemption card, you should talk to a child safety officer.

Should I be worried if I have a criminal history?

A person with a criminal history will not necessarily be refused a blue card or exemption card.

The CCYPCG considers a number of factors when determining a person's eligibility to hold a blue card or exemption card, including the nature of any charge or conviction and its relevance to working with children or young people.

If you want to talk about any criminal history you may have and how it may impact on your blue card application, you should contact the CCYPCG.

What if I already have a blue card?

We will check with the CCYPCG to determine whether your blue card is still valid. In this instance, you will be required to complete an authorisation form (PDF, 132 KB) that allows us to undertake this check, and if valid, you will not have to apply for a new blue card.

How is the implementation of the blue card or exemption card requirements better for carers and children?

 The CCYPCG will apply the same standards of eligibility to work with children to all members of the community providing services to Queensland's children and young people.

It makes sense that people caring for children and young people in out-of-home care have a blue card, similar to the way it is required for other people in the community who have regular contact with children, for example, child care staff or non-teaching staff at schools.

The CCYPCG will monitor the criminal histories of blue card and exemption card holders on a daily basis, so if there are any changes, they can advise us immediately.

Further information

For further information about applying to become a foster or kinship carer and the blue card or exemption card requirements, contact your local child safety service centre.