Children and families
Welcome to the Community Door information portal on children and families.
Prevention and early intervention programs are critical in reducing the costs of crisis services, such as those associated with the child protection system.
Prevention and early intervention services provide many things – support linking people to training and work, help securing a home, practical parenting support, and help navigating the school system. Children can also experience specific mental health issues.
The Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Child Protection System has led to a number of reforms, particularly to the child protection system. You can find more information below under Child and family reform.
Looking for more information about children and families?
IWSS works with women and children of non-English speaking background who are or have been in violent domestic situations and/or have experienced rape and/or sexual assault.
Brisbane Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (BDVAS) is a community based organisation that provides a free and confidential advocacy and support service for women, children, family members and individuals affected by domestic and family violence in the Brisbane Metropolitan area.
Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) was formed in May 2004 in response to the release of a report by the Crime and Misconduct (CMC) Inquiry. It highlighted that the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, their families and communities, should be represented effectively.
SNAICC is the national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The vision of the department is that Queensland children and young people are cared for, protected, safe and able to reach their full potential.
NAPCAN provides information, programs, resources and advocacy to policy makers in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Peakcare is the peak body for child protection and family support agencies in Queensland.
The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health provides free access to prevention and early intervention workforce development, both online and face-to-face.
If you are a professional in health, social or community service setting who works with children (0-12 years), with adults who are parents or carers, or with families, you are in a unique position to make a difference to children’s mental health.
Blue Card Services keeps Queensland safe by assisting organisations to be child-safe and screening people who work with children.
Child and family reform
On 25 July 2019, the Queensland Government released Supporting Families Changing Futures 2019-2023 – The Queensland Government’s plan for helping Queensland children, young people, parents and families experiencing vulnerability (PDF, 1 MB), a five-year whole-of-government strategy for the final stage of the 10-year child and family reform program.
This plan builds on the strategic direction published in the Supporting Families Changing Futures: 2018 Update and outlines the priorities for the final stage of the reform program.
The strategy is centred around wellbeing outcomes – Safe, Secure and Stable; Healthy; Learning, Earning and Developing and Participating, Belonging and Identity. Taking a wellbeing approach better articulates our work and the outcomes for children, young people and families experiencing vulnerability, is more meaningful for them and aligns with Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities.
Key focus areas over the next five years include:
- promoting a whole-of-government approach towards meeting the needs of Queensland children, young people and families experiencing vulnerability and enhancing the shared responsibility objective of the reform program
- increasing reach and effectiveness of family support services to help more families earlier and reduce the number of families escalating into the child protection system
- enhancing and strengthening cross-agency responses to address the wide-ranging needs of families, children and young people experiencing vulnerbility
- continuing to reduce the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, children and young people in the child protection system
- increasing and enhancing types of care to not only meet projected demand but to meet the needs of children and young people in care more effectively
- strengthening support for carers and kin.
The strategy is supported by the Queensland Government’s total funding package of $517.5 million ($401.6 million in new funding and $115.9 million funded internally) over four years to continue Queensland’s family support and child protection reforms.
Find out more on the Queensland Government’s Supporting Families Changing Futures web pages.
You can also subscribe to the Supporting Families Changing Futures monthly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest progress and news about the reforms.
Our Way Strategy and Action Plan
Delivering the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families is one of the Queensland Government’s highest priorities.
To achieve this, the government in partnership with Family Matters and community organisations has released Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF) and Changing Tracks: An action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families (PDF).
Guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, Our Way outlines our approach, across 20 years, to work differently together to improve life opportunities for our state’s vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. A key commitment in Supporting Families Changing Futures, Our Way represents a fundamental shift in how child protection, family support and other services work with, and for, Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
Changing Tracks outlines the actions we will take in the first three years to achieve our goal. It builds on existing initiatives and includes new actions guided by Elders, community leaders, community-run organisations, peak bodies and relevant government agencies, aimed at:
- reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system
- closing the gap in life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing vulnerability
- ensuring all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.
Family and Child Connect
Community-based intake and referral training resources
Community-based services, known as Family and Child Connect, were rolled out across Queensland, in 2015 as part of the Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms to Queensland’s child protection system.
These services support families who are at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system to get them back on track, before their problems escalate.
Families in need of support will be able to contact Family and Child Connect for assistance. Where professionals such as teachers, health workers and police and members of the community have concerns about a child’s wellbeing, they will be able to refer the family to Family and Child Connect for information, advice, and engagement instead of Child Safety.
The following videos help explain these changes and how the new Family and Child Connect services will operate. Further information and resources are available on the Supporting Families Changing Futures website.
Child Protection Act 1999 (updated in December 2017)
An introduction to the Child Protection Act 1999, its principles and key definitions.
Mandatory reporting (updated in December 2017)
An overview of the legislative framework for reporting child protection concerns in Queensland, including mandatory reporting obligations.
About Family and Child Connect (updated in December 2017)
An overview of Family and Child Connect and an introduction to how the service will operate.