Child protection reform to give children a voice

The Palaszczuk Government wants to hear from Queenslanders on the future of the state’s child protection legislation – especially children and young people who’ve been in care.

Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer has today released a consultation paper that will help guide the next stage of amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999.

“Every Queensland child deserves the same hope and opportunity as the next one,” she said.

“A recent report from the CREATE Foundation showed that while 93% of children and young people in care feel safe and secure in their current placement, about a third felt they didn’t have much of a say in decisions made about their placements.

“We’re asking Queenslanders to tell us how you think we can better recognise and protect the rights of children, how we can better regulate the environments children are placed in when they’re in care, and importantly how we can strengthen the voices of children in decision making.”

The three areas of legislative reform being considered are:

  • Reinforcing children’s rights in the legislative framework
  • Strengthening children’s voices in decisions that affect them
  • Reshaping the regulation of care

Ms Farmer said some different options for reform were outlined in the consultation paper, and people could make written submissions or fill out an online survey.

“We especially want to hear from children and young people with care experience, as well as their families, carers, service providers and staff,” she said.

“We also want to hear from Queenslanders who haven’t had experiences of care themselves – child protection is everyone’s responsibility, and so everyone is invited to have their say on this important legislation.

“Your submission doesn’t have to be long or very formal – write us a letter or send some dot points if that’s easier. The most important thing is that we hear from you.

“We will also proactively reach out to key stakeholder groups, including those representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people in care, and foster and kinship carers, to hear their views.”

Ms Farmer said the review was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitment to continue the 10 year child safety reform agenda that arose from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, as well as the recommendations of the Queensland Family and Child Commission’s Foster Care Review report, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The consultation paper is available on the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women website. Public comment is available through Get Involved and the Youth e-Hub.

/Public Release. View in full here.