Queensland’s most vulnerable children will have greater protection from this week with important reforms to Queensland’s child protection legislation coming in to effect.
Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer said the latest phase of the reforms would make it easier for children on custody orders to be vaccinated and improve safety planning for children who remain in their homes under agreements between parents and Child Safety.
“All children and young people deserve to be safe and that’s why we are making these significant changes,” Ms Farmer said.
“The changes mean an intervention with parental agreement can only be considered if a child will not be placed at immediate risk should a parent withdraw from the agreement.
“We are also helping children known to Child Safety get the best start in life by making it easier for children on custody orders to receive routine and emergency vaccinations.”
Ms Farmer said changes would also mean improved Child Safety processes.
“Our staff will also now have more guidance for when to apply for a temporary custody order to keep a child safe,” she said.
“We are also introducing safeguards against the publication of information about child witnesses in more criminal proceedings, while making it clear that police can share identifying information about a child in care when urgent police matters come up.”
The changes are being made through the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017, which was the result of a comprehensive review of the Child Protection Act 1999.
The first stage, which commenced in January, allowed Child Safety to provide more information to people who are, or have been, living in out-of-home care and to the Police in the event of an investigation, as well as to child welfare authorities in other states.
The next stage of the reforms, including better supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care maintain connections with their families, communities and cultures, comes in to effect later this year.
It will also make sure Children and young people in care will have greater permanency and stability throughout their lives, including support when they leave care.