Last updated 8 August 2016

Once the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Child Safety) becomes involved with a family, they may make decisions in accordance with the type of order that has been made. For example, where a custody order has been made, Child Safety will make decisions about where the child will live and what kind of contact the child will have with their family. This is the case even where the order is an interim order.

The Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) (Child Protection Act) requires Child Safety to consider the views of the parents and the child when making decisions. However, Child Safety is not bound to follow the child’s or the parents’ wishes.

The following decisions that are made by Child Safety are reviewable:

  • refusing a request to review a case plan if a child has a long-term guardian
  • what a parent must do under a directive order
  • who the child will live with
  • not to inform the parents of the child’s address
  • to restrict or impose conditions on contact (e.g. that contact be supervised)
  • to remove the child from the care of a particular carer.

If the child, their parents, a member of the child’s family in case of a contact decision or the carer do not agree with a decision in relation to one of the above things, then they can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to have Child Safety’s decision reviewed (s 247 Child Protection Act). Not every decision Child Safety makes is able to be reviewed (see sch 2 of the Child Protection Act for a list of reviewable decisions). Information on what decisions can be reviewed is available from QCAT.

Complaints about care provided to a child under a child protection order can be made to the Office of the Public Guardian. There is also an internal Child Safety complaints process.