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Glossary

Use the glossary to find definitions of terms used in our manual.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle

    The 5 elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle,  Child Protection Act 1999 , section 5C are  applied in administering the Child Protection Act 1999  when working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children and families. Decisions about an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child must be made in a way that upholds the 5 elements of the child placement principle:

    • Prevention - that a child has the right to be brought up within the child’s own family and community
    • Partnership - that Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander peoples have the right to participate in significant decisions under the Child Protection Act 1999 about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children
    • Placement - that if a child is to be placed in care, the child has a right to be placed with a member of the child’s family group
    • Participation - that a child and the child’s parents and family members have the right to participate, and be enabled to participate, in an administrative or judicial process for making a significant decision about a child
    • Connection - that a child has a right to be supported to develop and maintain a connection with the child’s family, community, culture, traditions and language, particularly when the child is in the care of a person who is not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Service

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services are community controlled family support services that work with families as early as possible, providing tailored, culturally safe support to improve their wellbeing and prevent their problems from escalating.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision making

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision making is a practice approach in which an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander facilitator, who is not a Child Safety employee, supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in taking the lead in making decisions and plans and taking action to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of the child. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family led decision making enhances cultural safety and maximises participation of the child and their family.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practice Leader

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practice Leader is a regional position that leads the development of culturally capable child protection practice.
  • Aboriginal person

    A person of Aboriginal descent who identifies as Aboriginal and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives. 
  • Aboriginal tradition and Island custom

    The meaning of Aboriginal tradition and Island custom is in accordance with the definitions in the Acts Interpretation Act 1954

    Aboriginal tradition is defined as the body of traditions, observances, customs and beliefs of Aboriginal people generally or of a particular community or group of Aboriginal people, and includes any such traditions, observances, customs and beliefs relating to particular persons, areas, objects or relationships.

    Island custom is defined as the body of traditions, observances, customs and beliefs of Torres Strait Islanders generally or of a particular community or group of Torres Strait Islanders, and includes any such traditions, observances, customs and beliefs relating to particular persons, areas, objects or relationships.

  • Abuse

    Child abuse happens when someone harms a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, or involve neglect. Child abuse can be a single incident or several incidents that take place over time.
  • Additional Child Care Subsidy

    The Additional Child Care Subsidy is an Australian government payment that gives eligible families extra assistance with the cost of child care. All children in foster or kinship care who have been assessed as being in need of protection under the Child Protection Act 1999 may automatically satisfy the ‘at risk’ threshold for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) and have reduced child care costs.
  • Additional notified concerns

    Additional notified concerns are new concerns received about a child, where there is already an open notification or investigation and assessment event in ICMS, that require screening to determine Child Safety's response.
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal

    The Administrative Appeals Tribunal conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws, and in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government organisations. It was established by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and reviews decisions relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It may affirm or vary a decision, set aside a decision and substitute a new decision, or remit a decision to the decision maker for reconsideration.

  • Adoption

    A legal process under the Adoption Act 2009 by which a child legally becomes a child of the adoptive parents and legally ceases to be a child of his or her existing parents.
  • Adoption and Permanent Care Services

    Adoption and Permanent Care Services, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, is responsible for providing services in Queensland for:

    • parents considering adoption for their children
    • children requiring adoptive placements
    • people seeking to adopt children
    • people seeking information or to lodge a contact statement in relation to a past adoption
    • unaccompanied humanitarian minors.
    It also provides support and advice in relation to permanency planning for children in the child protection system.
  • Adoption care agreement

    An adoption care agreement under the Adoption Act 2009, section 50, allows a child to be placed in a care arrangement with the parent's consent while the parent is considering adoption for the child. While the care agreement is in force, the chief executive has custody of the child and may place the child in care under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82. A child may be placed subject to an adoption care agreement for a maximum period of one year.
  • Adverse childhood experiences

    Adverse childhood experiences are traumatic events in a child's life which may have negative and lasting effects on health and wellbeing. These experiences occur before the age of 18 and are remembered by the person when they are an adult. Abuse and other aspects of the child's environment (such as parental substance misuse or mental health issues) that can undermine the child's sense of safety, stability and bonding can cause chronic stress that can disrupt early brain development, and the development of the nervous and immune systems.
  • Affidavit

    An affidavit is a written form of evidence used in court proceedings. The purpose of an affidavit is to provide sworn or affirmed, factual information to assist a magistrate in making a decision in relation to a child protection order.
  • Aggrieved person

    The legal term used to refer to a person:
    • defined in the Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 2, who may apply, as provided for under the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009, to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal , or
    • who experiences domestic or family violence.
  • Alcohol and Drug Information Service

    The Alcohol and Drug Information Service is a 24 hour, 7 day a week confidential support service offering support for people in Queensland with alcohol and other drug concerns, their loved ones and health professionals.

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Services

    Alcohol and Other Drug Services provide people with a range of interventions that influence and support the decision to reduce or cease harmful substance use. Referrals can be made by an individual experiencing the problem, community services, hospital and health services, GPs, police, courts and Corrective Services.
  • Alert

    An alert is applied to a person record in ICMS to highlight risks, behaviours or other details about a child, family member or carer, that need to be brought to the attention of Child Safety or Youth Justice staff to ensure a matter is appropriately considered when providing services, such as a suicide or domestic and family violence risk.
  • Another entity

    The Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1)(f), allows for a child to be placed in the care of another entity, other than an approved carer or licensed care service, only when that entity is the most appropriate for meeting the child's particular protection and care needs.
  • Application for approval - Form 3 APA

    The Application for approval - Form 3 APA is completed by applicants seeking to be approved as foster or kinship carers.
  • Approved carer

    Approved carers are people in whose care a child has been placed by the chief executive, and include approved foster carers, approved kinship carers and provisionally approved carers.
  • Assessment

    Assessment is the process of gathering, analysing and interpreting information to inform decision-making and planning. 
  • Assessment and service connect

    Assessment and service connect is a model of working with families, in partnership with assessment and service connect co-responder services, to complete an investigation and assessment and determine a child's need for protection and ongoing service provision.
  • Assessment care agreement

    An assessment care agreement allows a child to be placed in a care arrangement by Child Safety, with the parent's consent, to ensure the child's safety during an investigation and assessment. An assessment care agreement is for a maximum of 30 days and the parents retain custody and guardianship of the child.
  • Assessment order

    An assessment order is a short term order that may be granted by either a magistrate or the court, under the Child Protection Act 1999, to allow a range of activities to occur to complete an investigation and assessment, when a parent has not given consent for these actions to occur (refer to Temporary assessment order and Court assessment order).
  • Attachment

    Attachment refers to the the emergence of an emotional bond between an infant and a primary carer and the way this affects the child's behavioural and emotional development into adulthood.

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which affects how a person's nervous system develops. It impacts on and impairs how a person thinks and acts. A person with ADHD usually has problems focusing and remembering what is said or done around them. They can be impulsive and may also have extra trouble sitting still or being quiet. 

  • Australian Immunisation Register

    The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register, administered by the Australian Department of Human Services, that records vaccines given to all people in Australia.

  • Authorised officer

    A person appointed to one of a range of positions in Child Safety that the chief executive authorises under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 149 to exercise specified powers.
  • Authorised representative

    Someone who can manage a My Health Record on someone else's behalf. For children under 14 years in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive, the child's CSO will be their authorised representative and can make decisions about how their health information is managed and accessed by others.
  • Autism spectrum disorder

    Autism spectrum disorder is a brain-based, developmental condition that affects the way a person relates to their environment. A child with autism spectrum disorder can have communication difficulties, narrow interests and repetitive behaviour. The word spectrum is used because not all people with autrism spectrum disorder have the same needs.

  • Bail

    The temporary release of a defendant (from the custody of a police officer or court) who has been charged with an offence, until a later court appearance.
  • Belonging

    In the context of the Framework for Practice, 'belonging' refers to providing a child with the opportunity to develop strong, meaningful, lifelong connections with family, extended family, community and culture. The connections may be with the family a child was born into or with the family they grow up in.

  • Blue card

    A person must have a blue card in order to be eligible to work in child-related employment, carry on a child-related business, or provide direct care to children under the Child Protection Act 1999. Blue card services screen applicants and assesses an applicant's national criminal history, disciplinary information held by certain professional organisations, and relevant information from the Queensland Police Commissioner - even if no charges were laid. If the application is approved, a blue card is issued to the person.  
  • Care agreement

    An agreement between Child Safety and a child's parents to place their child in an approved care arrangement for a short period of time. There are two types of care agreements, an 'Assessment care agreement' and a 'Child protection care agreement'.
  • Care arrangement

    The arrangements made for the care of a child who is placed under the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1). The care arrangment may be with a foster carer, kinship carer, provisionally approved carer, residential care service or a supported independant living service.
  • Care arrangement matching

    Care arrangement matching refers to the process of identifying the most suitable care arrangement for a child. This may be a potential carer family, whose motivation, characteristics, skills and experience will, as far as possible, meet the assessed needs of the child or sibling group. It may also be a residential care service that is assessed as the most suitable. The matching process takes into account information specific to the child, the carer and the licenced care service.
  • Carepay

    Carepay is the Child Safety system used to manage the payment of the fortnightly caring allowance and associated payments to foster carers, kinship carers and provisionally approved carers. Carepay works in conjunction with ICMS to calculate carer payments.

  • Carer business discount card

    The carer business discount card entitles approved foster and kinship carers to a range of discounts on goods and services from participating businesses in Queensland.  The card is automatically sent to a carer within 20 business days of their approval and it remains valid while they continue to be an approved foster or kinship carer.
  • Carer Connect

    Carer Connect is a web- and mobile-friendly app that has been developed to provide carers with improved and secure access to information and support, when and where they need it. Carers can view relevant information and documentation to gain an understanding of how the needs of the children in their care can best be supported.  Carers can also contribute valuable information about the children and young people in their care.
  • Carer entity

    A carer entity is a record created in ICMS for a group of one or more persons who hold a certificate of approval, or are provisionally approved, to provide family-based foster or kinship care.
  • Case management

    The overall responsibilities of Child Safety when managing statutory intervention with a child subject to ongoing intervention. Case management is a way of working with children, families and other agencies to provide coordinated, culturally sensitive, integrated and targeted services to meet the needs and goals of children and their families.  It involves a process of assessment, planning, implementation and review, until case closure.    
  • Case note

    A case note is a summary of interactions practitioners have with a child, their family, a significant person and other professionals. It provides a contextual summary of a single interaction or activity and is recorded in ICMS.
  • Case plan

    A case plan for a child is a written plan for meeting the child's safety, belonging and wellbeing needs. It is developed in a participative process between Child Safety, a child, the child's family and other people of significance to the child and family. It records the goals of ongoing intervention and identifies the agreed actions that will occur to meet the goals.
  • Case plan review

    A process of reviewing a case plan, based on an up-to-date assessment of the progress made toward the case plan goal. It includes a reassessment of risk, safety, strengths and needs. The outcome of a case plan review is a completed review report and a new case plan.
  • Case planning

    Case planning is a participative process to develop a case plan for a child in need of protection. Case planning is made up of a cycle of assessment, planning, implementation and review to meet a child's safety, belonging and wellbeing needs.
  • Case responsibility

    Case responsibility refers to the actions required of the allocated CSO in undertaking statutory intervention with a child and their family. Case responsibility can relate to the completion of an investigation and assessment or to case management of an ongoing intervention case through a processes of assessment, planning, implementation and review, until case closure. Refer to case management.
  • Case work

    Case work refers to the day-to-day actions undertaken by the CSO with case responsibility and other relevant people who are undertaking statutory intervention with a child and their family.
  • CCR consult

    A CCR consult is a meeting requested by a suspected child abuse and neglect team core member representative when:    
    • the matter has been assessed by Child Safety as a child concern report, and
    • the core member representative has contacted the approving Child Safety senior team leader for further discussion regarding the decision, rationale and any follow up actions discussed, and
    • the matter remains a child conern repor and the core member representative seeks a multi-agency discussion (Child Protection Act 1999, section 159MD).
  • Central Screening Unit

    The Central Screening Unit is the Child Safety Unit responsible for undertaking personal and criminal history checks of prospective or existing foster and kinship carers and adult members of their households in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 135.  The Central Screening Unit also undertakes personal history screening of all employees, managers, directors and nominees of licensed care services.

  • Certificate of approval

    The authority provided to an approved carer, once the chief executive has made the decision to grant a foster or kinship carer application, or provisionally approve a carer.
  • Charter of rights

    The charter of rights for a child in care (Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 1) sets out 11 rights for  evey child in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive. The Child Protection Act 1999, section 74, requires the chief executive to ensure the charter of rights are complied with. It also requires children to be told about the charter, having regard to their age and ability to understand, and to be told about the public guardian and other entities that can help them if their rights are not being complied with.

  • Chief executive

    Unless otherwise specified, refers to the Director-General of the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.
  • Child

    A child or young person who is under 18 years of age.
  • Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group

    Part of Queensland Police Service, this group focuses on vulnerable children and victims including victims of sexual abuse. The Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group is made up of a number of specialist investigative units and multi-agency teams:
    • Child Protection Offender Register (CPOR)
    • ARGOS internet child exploitation unit
    • Child Trauma Unit (CTU)
    • Sexual Crimes Unit
    • Blue Card Operations and SCAN (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) Team.
  • Child advocate functions

    The Public Guardian has child advocate functions that it performs for children in the child protection system, as set out in the Public Guardian Act 2014, section 13. These functions are delegated  to community visitors and child advocate legal officers.
  • Child concern report

    A child concern report is a record of child protection concerns received by Child Safety that do not meet the threshold for a notification. A CSO may respond to a child concern report by providing information and advice, making a referral to an appropriate agency, or providing information to the police or another state authority.
  • Child exploitation material

    Material that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, that describes or depicts a person, or a representation of a  child under 16 years:
    • in a sexual context, including for example, engaging in a sexual activity, or
    • in an offensive or demeaning context, or
    • being subjected to abuse, cruelty or torture.
  • Child health passport

    The child health passport is a process of gathering information and arranging for a health assessment and health follow up for a child in care. It is also a folder containing the child's health information that Child Safety provides to a carer to assist them in meeting the child's day-to-day health needs. Contents include the child information form, health plan, photocopy of the Medicare card, and information relating to specific health needs of the child. The passport moves with the child if the child moves to another care arrangement and a copy is provided to the parent when the child returns home or to the young person when they transition from care.
  • Child in care

    Refers to a child in need of protection who is placed in a care arrangement as outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1).
  • Child in need of protection

    A child in need of protection is a child who:
    • has suffered significant harm, is suffering significant harm, or is at unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm, and
    • does not have a parent able and willing to protect the child from the harm.
  • Child Protection Act 1999

    The Child Protection Act 1999 provides the legislative framework for the protection of children in Queensland.
  • Child Protection and Investigation Unit

    The Child Protection and Investigation Unit is the Queensland Police Service unit responsible for the investigation of crimes committed against children.
  • Child protection care agreement

    A written agreement between the parents and Child Safety, allowing Child Safety to place a child in need of protection in a care arrangement to ensure their safety. A child protection care agreement may be used during intervention with parental agreement or ongoing intervention with a directive or supervision order. The child protection care agreement gives custody of the child to the chief executive while the agreement is in force. It can be for an initial period of 30 days and can be extended more than once, for no more than 30 days at a time, with a maximum of 6 months in a 12 month period.
  • Child Protection Guide

    The Queensland Child Protection Guide is a tool to assist professionals' decision-making if concerns arise about a child who appears to have experienced, or is likely to experience significant harm AND may not have a parent able and willing to protect them from harm.

    The Child Protection Guide helps professionals decide whether to report to the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Child Safety) or refer to other service providers, to help families receive appropriate supports and services in a timely manner.
  • Child protection history

    Personal information held by Child Safety, or another statutory department or agency in Australia or overseas, with responsibility for child protection. 

    This information is used to inform decision making and assessments undertaken in relation to the protection of children under the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • Child Protection Liaison Officer

    The Child Protection Liaison Officer within each Queensland Health Service District is the Queensland Health contact person for Child Safety staff. The Child protection liaison officer will be able to advise Child Safety staff about the model of care within their district and the health professionals within the local area who are able to conduct health assessments and develop health plans. In their role they may be able to advise on and facilitate appropriate referral processes, and they will act as the main liaison link for other health professionals within the health service district.
  • Child protection order

    A child protection order is an order made by the Childrens Court under the Child Protection Act 1999, when a child is assessed to be in need of protection. There are different types of child protection orders, depending on a child and family's situation, including directive orders, supervision orders, and orders granting custody orguardianship  to the chief executive or another person. 
  • Child protection warrant alert

    This is an option in the ICMS Alerts drop down list which is selected to indicate that a warrant for the apprehension of a child, under Part 3 of the Child Protection Act 1999  has been issued.
  • Child Safety

    An abbreviation for the part of the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs that is responsible for statutory child protection.
  • Child Safety After Hours Service Centre

    Child Safety After Hours Service Centre is a statewide service which provides after-hours statutory responses to critical and immediate child protection and youth justice matters. It is fully operational from 5pm-9am Monday to Friday and 24/7 on weekends and public holidays.  

    The CSAHSC works in close partnership with other government departments and community agencies to provide front line service delivery to emergent and critical child protection and youth justice matters targeted at securing immediate safety and addressing presenting issues until the relevant service centre is able to assume case responsibility.

    The Foster and Kinship Care Support Line is located with CSAHSC and provides task-focused, problem-solving support and advocacy to carers and care arrangements. It is staffed by by specialist CSOs (4:30 pm - 11:30 pm Mon - Fri and 7 am - 11:30 pm Sat - Sun). Outside of these hours the line is diverted to CSAHSC so it can be responded to 24/7.
  • Child safety officer

    A child safety officer is an authorised officer under the Child Protection Act 1999, and is responsible for delivering statutory child protection services, such as investigating and assessing allegations of suspected child abuse and neglect, and intervening to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children subject to ongoing intervention, in accordance with legislation, policies and procedures.
  • Child Safety planning officer

    A Child Safety planning officer is a senior team leader who is allocated the role of working with the QPS planning officer to identify matters that meet the criteria for a joint response and to triage the Child Protection Joint Response Team (CPJRT) response priorities.

  • Child Safety Service Centre

    Child Safety Service Centres are located across the state. Child Safety Service Centre staff deliver statutory child protection services and support to children, young people, families and carers to ensure the safety, belonging and wellbeing of children. 
  • Child Safety staff

    Staff who work for the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs, and are responsible for delivering services under the Child Protection Act 1999.
  • Child safety support officer

    Child safety support officers, including senior child safety support officers, support the delivery of child protection services to children and families by:
    • providing culturally appropriate, practical prevention and early intervention support services to children and families to meet agreed case plan goals
    • supporting positive family connection, referrals and advocacy for services
    • providing high quality casework support and advice to assist in making decisions about the safety, belonging and wellbeing of children.
  • Child sexual exploitation

    Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited, the abuser gives them things such as gifts, drugs, money, status and affection in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they are in a loving and consensual relationship. This is referred to as grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they are being abused. A perpetrator of child sexual exploitation can be any age, gender or race. The relationship may be framed as a friendship or a romance. Children and young people who are exploited may also be used to find or coerce others to form relationships with abusers or join groups whose members are abusers. 

  • Child strengths and needs assessment

    The child strength and needs assessment is a Structured Decision Making tool. It provides a consistent approach to consider each child’s strengths and needs when gathering information to develop or review the case plan of a child in need of protection, who is subject to ongoing intervention.
  • Childrens Court

    The Childrens Court is a specialist magistrates court that deals with proceedings relation to child protection, youth justice and adoptions.
  • Collaborative assessment and planning

    The collaborative assessment and planning framework supports a balanced and comprehensive child protection assessment to be undertaken with families and their networks. It is used collaboratively with all the significant people involved with a child from the first point of contact with a family right through until case closure. The process involves the use of the framework to organise all information known about a child and family at any given time into key domains relevant to the goal of enhancing ongoing safety, belonging and wellbeing for children.

  • Collaborative family decision making

    Collaborative family decision making is a Child Safety program that facilitates family-led decision making processes. Regional or district teams are made up of a principal team leader and family group meeting convenors.
  • Community based order

    Under the Youth Justice Act 1992, a community based order refers to a probation order, community service order, intensive supervision order or conditional release order.
  • Community visitor

    A community visitor is an independent officer employed by the Office of the Public Guardian to visit children and young people in care, to promote their rights and interests. Community visitors visit children and young people living in visitable locations across Queensland, including the home of a foster or kinship carer, a residential care facility, a youth detention centre, a disability service or a mental health facility.

  • Community Visitor Program

    The Community Visitor Program forms part of the statutory framework of the Public Guardian Act 2014. Under the program, community visitors help protect the rights and interests of children and young people living in visitable locations across Queensland. A visitable location for a child in care includes the home of a foster or kinship carer, a residential care facility, a youth detention centre, a disability service or a mental health facility.
  • Complex support needs allowance

    The complex support needs allowance is a payment, in in addition to the fortnightly caring allowance, to assist foster and kinship carers to meet the direct and additional indirect costs of caring for children in a care arrangement assessed as having complex and extreme needs, to ensure each child's individual need are met in a timely and effective manner.

    Long-term guardians and permanent guardians are eligible to receive the complex support needs allowance if they were an approved foster or kinship carer and caring for the child when the order was made and exceptional circumstances apply. The complex support needs allowance may be paid to long-term and permanent  guardians for a maximum period of six months.

  • Concurrent planning

    Concurrent planning is a process that supports the identification of a primary permanency goal and an alternative permanency option with a child and family. The aim of concurrent planning is to expedite permanency for a child, and it requires actions to be developed and progressed for both goals, to be worked on simultaneously from the time a child comes into care, until a permanency decision is made.
  • Conduct disorder

    A disorder diagnosed in childhood or adolescence that presents through a range of emotional problems and antisocial behaviours. Conduct disorder presents as a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basis rights of others or major age appropriate norms are violated.

  • Contact order

    An order made by the Family Court of Australia, under the Family Law Act 1975, regarding the contact between a child and another person or other people.
  • Court assessment order

    A court assessment order is an order made under the Child Protection Act 1999 authorising actions necessary as part of an investigation and assessment to assess whether a child is in need of protection, if:
    • the child's parents have not provided their consent for these actions or the parents consent cannot be obtained
    • it is considered that it will take more than three business days to complete the investigation and assessment.
  • Crime and Corruption Commission

    The Crime and Corruption Commission is an independent Queensland Government entity created to combat and reduce the incidence of major crime and to continuously improve the integrity of, and to reduce the incidence of misconduct in, the Queensland public sector.
  • Criminal Investigation Branch

    The CIB is responsible for delivering specialist investigation services across each QPS district in response to serious indictable/criminal offences. The range of offences includes homicide, robbery, arson, property and fraud offences, and personal and sexual violence committed against adults.
  • Critical incident report

    A critical or sensitive incident that will negatively impact, or has the potential to negatively impact, on the safety, wellbeing and best interests of a person subject to Chid Safety intervention must be reported to the Deputy Director-General via a critical incident report form. 

    Critical incidents may relate to:
    • children subject to departmental intervention
    • departmental staff and carers
    • departmentally funded or licensed services
    • matters where media attention has occurred or is possible.
  • Cultural practice advisor

    The cultural practice advisor is a CSSC-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (identified) position that provides individualised and culturally appropriate case work support to children and families, and cultural leadership in the CSSC, to support culturally appropriate work with children and families.
  • Cultural safety

    The term cultural safety was first defined by the Maori nursing fraternity in New Zealand and is expressed as "an environment that is safe for people where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening.(Williams, Robyn, 2008). Cultural safety: what does it mean for our work practice? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 23(2): 213-214.

  • Cultural support plan

    The cultural support plan is an essential component of a case plan for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or a child from another cultural community. It is completed when a child is in need of protection, to ensure they remain connected with their culture, families and communities regardless of where they are living.
  • Cumulative harm

    Harm experienced by a child as a result of a series or pattern of harmful events and experiences that may have occurred in the past or are ongoing. There is a strong possibility of multiple inter-related risk factors existing over critical developmental periods. The effects of cumulative harm can diminish a child’s sense of safety, stability and wellbeing.
  • Custody

    In accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, a person who has or is granted custody of a child has the right and responsibility to attend to day-to-day matters only, including:
    • a child's daily care
    • making decisions about a child's daily care.
  • Data Management Services

    Data Management Services is a central data quality unit which undertakes a range of processing activities to assist and directly support frontline staff in CSSCs. Its role includes requesting information from authorised external agencies as well as duplicate client management in ICMS.

  • Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs

    The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs is responsible for statutory child protection and youth justice services and multi-cultural affairs in Queensland.  
  • Detention order

    A detention order is an order made under the Youth Justice Act 1992, in relation to a child found guilty of a serious offence, requiring the child to be detained for a specified period of time, in a detention centre.
  • Differential pathway

    This is an alternative option for finalising an investigation and assessment, without completing an action that would ordinarily be carried out by a CSO. A differential pathway enables the timely completion of an investigation and assessment without compromising the safety of a child by 'contact with other professional'.
  • Directive order

    This is an order made under the Child Protection Act 1999, directing a parent:
    • to do or refrain from doing something directly related to the child's protection, and/or
    • not to have contact (direct or indirect) with the child, or to only have contact when a stated person or a person of a stated category is present.
  • Director of Child Protection Litigation

    The Director of Child Protection Litigation is an independent statutory agency in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General portfolio which conducts child protection legal matters.

    The Director of Child Protection Litigation Act 2016 provides that when the chief executive of Child Safety is satisfied that a child is in need of protection and a child protection order is the most desirable and appropriate order to protect the child, it must refer the matter to the Director of Child Protection Litigation.  The Director of Child Protection Litigation is responsible for applying for child protection orders and conducting child protection proceedings before the Childrens Court.

  • Director-General

    Unless otherwise specified, refers to the Director-General of the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.
  • Disrupted attachment

    Disrupted attachment is the negative affect a history of separation or traumatic events has had on a child's opportunity and ability to form close bonds with their parents or primary carers in early childhood.

  • Domestic violence order

    A domestic violence order is an official document issued by the court to stop threats or acts of violence. It sets our rules that the respondent (the person who has committed domestic violence) must obey. It is designed to keep the aggrieved person (the person who has had violence against them) safe by making it illegal for the respondent to behave in specific ways. 

    There are 2 types of domestic violence order:

    •  a protection order made by a magistrate in court to protect people in domestic and family violence situations which usually last for 5 years but can be made for shorter or longer periods in some circumstances
    • a temporary protection order that a person who needs urgent protection, or police, can apply for if a person needs protection urgently. It is designed to protect those in danger up until the date a magistrate can decide the application for a full protection order.
    If a person is in immediate danger, they can ask for a temporary protection order and a protection order.

    Every domestic violence protection order has a standard condition that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved person or any other person named on the order, including children, relatives or friends, if they are at risk of violence.
  • Duplicate concerns

    Duplicate concerns refers to two or more accounts being received by Child Safety relating to a single incident or event or concern.
  • Early childhood early intervention

    The NDIS has a national approach to early childhood early intervention that gives children 0-6 years of age quick access to support tailored to their needs. Early childhood early intervention support aims to promote the child's learning, development and ability to participate in family, early childhood education and care settings and broader community life. It also aims to assist parents and families to have the knowledge, skills and support to respond to the needs of their child.

  • Education support plan

    Child Safety provides funding to the Department of Education to develop an education support plan in collaboration with Child Safety to ensure a child in care is enrolled and participating in an educational program that meets their individual learning needs, maximises their educational potential and improves their wellbeing. All children subject to an interim or finalised child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive are eligible for an educational support plan.
  • Electronic Transfer of Court Results

    The Electronic Transfer of Court Results is a report of court results received in the ICMS from the Department of Justice and Attorney General via the Integrated Justice Information Strategy application.
  • Emotional harm

    Emotional harm refers to the circumstances when a child’s social, emotional, cognitive or intellectual development is impaired or at unacceptable risk of being impaired as a direct result of parental behaviour/attitude. It includes significant emotional deprivation due to persistent coldness, rejection or hostility. The harm to the child may have a cumulative effect and/or be observable in behaviours such as severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, indicators of inappropriate attachment or bonding, self-harming behaviour or aggressive behaviour towards others.
  • Evolve Therapeutic Services

    Evolve Therapeutic Services provide therapeutic and behaviour support services for children and young people in  care, subject to an interim or finalised child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive, who have severe and complex psychological needs.

    Evolve Therapeutic Services is a collaborative arrangement between the Child Safety and Queensland Health.

  • Exemption card

    Registered teachers and police officers are exempt from requiring a blue card or exemption card when providing regulated child-related services as part of their professional duties (that is, teaching at a school or providing a function as a serving member of the QPS).

    However, when providing regulated child-related services that fall outside of their professional duties, registered teachers and police officers must apply to Blue Card Services for an exemption card.  Examples of this include when a police officer is volunteering at a local sporting club or community group and / or a registered teacher is working in a child care centre or private tutoring business.
  • Experienced significant detriment by department

    This alert is applied to a child's person record in ICMS when a child's harm or injury, that has lead to a permanent incapacity, has been caused by the actions or inactions of Child Safety.
  • Family and Child Connect

    Family and Child Connect are funded non-government community-based intake and referral services that helps families to care for and protect their children at home. Family and Child Connect support vulnerable families by assessing their needs and connecting them with appropriate support services.

  • Family contact

    Family contact is planned contact between a child in care and family members or other people of significance. It may include contact between the child and their siblings, parents, extended family, community members, people of cultural or ethnic significance and other people of significance in the child's life.
  • Family Court of Australia

    The Family Court of Australia is a federal (Commonwealth) court established under the Family Law Act 1975, to deal with a range of matters arising out of relationship breakdowns, including divorce, property settlement and the care of children of a relationship.
  • Family group meeting

    A family group meeting is a meeting where Child Safety and a child, their family and significant people involved with the child and family meet to discuss the child and family's strengths and needs, and to develop a plan to address the worries identified. The plan aims to identify how the family and service providers can work together to keep the child safe and ensure the family and child receive the help and support they need.
  • Family Participation Program

    The Family Participation Program is an external program run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations, funded by Child Safety. The program facilitates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision making processes and may assist children and families to identify an independent person to facilitate their participation in significant decisions being made under the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • Family support service

    Family support services support vulnerabe children, young people and their families and expectant parents and aim to:
    • improve the wellbeing and safety of children, young people and their families
    • help preserve families
    • prevent entry or re-entry to the statutory system.
  • Family-led decision making

    Family-led decision making is a practice approach in which the family is supported in taking the lead in making decisions and plans and taking action to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of the child. 
  • Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

    Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder refers to a range of physical, cognitive, developmental and emotional problems caused by exposure of a foetus to alcohol during pregnancy.  Consequences may be serious and lifelong. 

  • Fortnightly caring allowance

    The fortnightly caring allowance is a payment provided to foster and kinship carers for each child in their care to assist with the basic costs of caring for the child. It is also paid to long-term guardians and permanent guardians who were approved carers for the child prior to becoming the child's guardian.  It is paid fortnightly in arrears and rates of payment differ depending on the age of the child.

  • Foster and kinship care service

    Foster and kinship care services are funded to recruit, train, assess and support foster and kinship carers. They:

    • identify carers best able to meet the needs of children and young people referred by Child Safety
    • manage and monitor the quality of care provided to children and young people. 

    Services operate in a particular region and CSSC catchment area. 

  • Foster care matching tool

    The foster care matching tool assists Child Safety and foster and kinship care services in working together to identify the most suitable care arrangement for a child.

    The tool records information about the child and the proposed carer to assess the level of match between the child's needs and characteristics and the carer's skills, knowledge and ability to meet the relevant needs. It also helps to identify supports, services or strategies that may assist in addressing any gap in the match.

  • Foster carer

    A foster carer is an individual, or two or more individuals approved by Child Safety to provide family-based care for children in their own home. Foster carers undergo a thorough screening, assessment and training process prior to being approved, to assess their ability to provide care for children in line with the legislated standards of care and to provide them with support to do so.
  • Foster carer agreement

    An agreement negotiated between each foster carer and Child Safety and the foster and kinship care service, that sets out the terms, conditions and responsibilities of the foster carer and the CSSC or foster and kinship care service. The agreement sets out the type of care the carer wishes to provide and how the carer's development, learning and support needs will be met.
  • Gender identity

    Someone’s gender identity is about how they feel inside, regardless of their sex assigned at birth. It is an inner concept of the way one’s self is viewed, ranging from male, female, to neither or both. Gender can be considered on a spectrum, ranging between male and female. Some people may not identify exclusively as being either male or female and identify somewhere in between such as being ‘non-binary’ or ‘genderqueer’.
  • Genogram

    A graphic representation, similar to a family tree, that illustrates demographical, biological, and household information about the relationships between family members.

  • Gillick competence

    Gillick competence is a term used in medical law to describe when a child may be competent to consent to their own medical treatment, despite their age. The standard is based on a decision of the United Kingdom's House of Lords in the case of Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1985] 3 AII ER 402. The health professional decides if the child is able to provide consent for medical procedures based on the concept of 'Gillick competency'.

  • Guardianship

    In accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, a person who has or is granted guardianship of a child has the powers, rights and responsibilities to:

    • attend to a child's daily care
    • make decisions that relate to day-to-day matters concerning the child's daily care
    • make decisions about the long-term care, wellbeing and development of the child in the same way a person has parental responsibility under the Family Law Act 1975.
  • Hallucinations

    An hallucination is an experience in which a person perceives or senses something that is not present. A person may, for example, see, hear, feel, taste or smell things that are not apparent to others. Hallucinations may be part of a pattern of mental health issues for young people, parents and people with a psychiatric disability.

  • Harm

    Any detrimental effect of a significant nature on a child's physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. Harm can be caused by physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse or exploitation. Harm can be caused by a single act, omission or circumstance; or a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances (Child Protection Act 1999, section 9). 

  • Harm household

    The harm household is the household where harm to a child is alleged to have occurred. This is relevant when a child lives part time with more than one parent, and there may be no harm in one household, but alleged harm in the other.

  • Harm report

    A harm report is recorded where information indicates that a child in a care arrangement has experienced harm or it is suspected that they have experienced harm in their care arrangement due to the actions or inactions of a carer, household member or the staff member of a non-family based care service.

  • Harmful sexual behaviours

    Harmful sexual behaviours is a term used to describe sexual behaviours in children and young people which are outside of what is developmentally expected.  Harmful sexual behaviours include problem sexual behaviours, sexually abusive behaviours and high risk behaviours that are not harmful to others.
  • Health assessment

    A health assessment undertaken by a health professional for a child in care as part of the child health passport process. 

  • Health care file

    The health care file is a physical client file that is registered in Child Safety's records management system and cross-referenced to the child's file. It contains all health related information about a child in care and a copy of the child health passport.

  • Health plan

    A health plan is a plan developed by a health professional following the health assessment of a child, valid for 12 months. It is made up of:

    • significant findings from the health assessment
    • a proposed health/treatment plan including who is responsible for carrying it out
    • recommended follow-up and timeframe
    • actions to be taken.
  • Health practitioner

    The Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 3 defines a health practitioner as:
    •    a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise, other than as a student, in any of the following—
    i.    the dental profession (dentist, dental therapist, dental hygienist or oral health therapist)
    ii.    the nursing profession
    iii.    the medical profession
    iv.    the occupational therapy profession
    v.    the optometry profession
    vi.    the physiotherapy profession
    vii.    the psychology profession, or
    •    a person who is eligible for practising membership of The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited ACN 008 393 440, or
    •     person who is eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

  • High risk team

    A team of officers from all agencies with a role in keeping victims of domestic and family violence safe and holding perpetrators to account.

    Officers from Child Safety, police, health, corrections, housing and specialist domestic and family violence services work together to rapidly identify victims at high risk of violence who need urgent intervention. Team members collaborate to provide integrated, culturally appropriate safety responses to victims and their children who are at high risk of serious harm or lethality.

  • High support needs allowance

    The high support needs allowance is a payment to assist foster and kinship carers to meet the direct care costs of caring, in an approved care arrangement, for children who are assessed as having high support needs, when the costs regularly exceed the scope of the fortnightly caring allowance.

    Long-term guardians and permanent guardians may be eligible to receive the high support needs allowance if they were an approved foster or kinship carer for the child when the order was made. In exceptional circumstances, the high support needs allowance may be paid to long-term guardians and permanent guardians for a maximum period of six months.

  • Household member

    Household members include all persons who have significant in-home contact with a child, including those who have a familial or intimate relationship with any person in the home. The person does not have to permanently reside in the home to be considered a household member. 

  • iDOCS

    iDOCS is a searchable repository for the storage of electronic Child Safety files and client files, including all types of supporting documents and media formats. 

  • IJIS

    The Integrated Justice Information Strategy program is a cross-agency initiative designed to create an integrated information sharing system between the Queensland Police Service, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Corrective Services, and Child Safety.
  • IJIS notification

    An IJIS notification is an automated email alert to a Regional Intake Service (RIS) or  Child Safety Service Centre (CSSC) providing details of a child’s first scheduled appearance in a criminal court proceeding.  Information may also be received on other participants in the court event. These ‘secondary persons of interest’ may or may not have an existing person record in ICMS.
  • ILO

    The ILO facilitates Child Safety's interstate liaison functions. They are situated within Court Services.
  • Immediate harm indicator

    Immediate harm indicators (behaviours or conditions) focus on key parental behaviours or household conditions that present a serious and immediate threat of harm to a child. The indicators are considered for every child in every investigation and assessment, and are assessed following the initial interviews with the child and family, and prior to leaving the home. The harm indicators focus on whether there are imminent or present dangers for the child.

  • Immediate safety plan

    An immediate safety plan is an agreement between a child's family, other relevant people and Child Safety. It outlines what Child Safety is worried might happen and what everyone agrees to do immediately to keep the child safe.  It is completed when one or more immediate harm indicators are identified during the safety assessment.

  • Independent person

    Term used for a person or entity that is fulfilling the role of the Independent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander entity for a child (Child Protection Act 1999, section 6), to facilitate a child and family's participation in significant decisions being made about the child under the Child Protection Act 1999

    Child Safety and the DCPL must, in consultation and with the consent of the child and family, arrange for an independent person to help facilitate the child or family's participation in a significant decision unless the child or family does not consent or one of the conditions in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 6AA(3) or (4) applies.
  • Indictable offence

    An indictable offence is an offence where the defendant has the right to trial by jury. The majority of indictable offences must be heard in the District Court or the Supreme Court

  • Intake

    Intake refers to the process by which Child Safety receives and gathers information about harm or risk of harm to a child or an unborn child who may be at risk of harm after he or she is born, and determines the appropriate response to the information received. Intake processes are initiated when professionals, family members or members of the public contact RIS or CSSC with concerns about a child.
  • Intake enquiry

    An intake enquiry is the appropriate response when:

    • The information relates to Child Safety's core business, but does not contain allegations of harm or risk of harm to a child or unborn child, and does not require any further action by Child Safety
    • The information contains allegations of harm or risk of harm to a child or unborn child, and relates to extra-familial abuse but a parent is assessed as able and willing to protect the child, or the information contains allegations of harm or risk of harm to a child living in another jurisdiction.
    • The death of a child is reported as suspicious or non-accidental (and the child had no siblings) or reported as accidental or there are no suspicious circumstances.
  • Intake event

    An intake event is a record in ICMS where child protection information received from a notifier is recorded. The Child Safety response to the information is also recorded in the intake event.

  • Intake form

    An ICMS form used to record child protection information received from a notifier.
  • Intake response

    Following an assessment of the information by Child Safety, one of the following responses is recorded:                                                                                           

    • safe place movement record
    • limited intake response
    • intake enquiry
    • child concern report
    • notification
    • additional notified concerns.
  • Integrated Client Management System

    The Integrated Client Management System is an electronic system for managing information about the children and families Child Safety comes in contact with across the child protection continuum from intake to care arrangements made with carers and care services.  It records information received and professional activities such as assessments, plans and reviews undertaken with children, families and courts and information required to fulfil responsibilities under the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • Integrated Justice Information Strategy

    The Integrated Justice Information Strategy program is a cross-agency initiative designed to create an integrated information sharing system between the QPS, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Corrective Services, and Child Safety. 

    It provides court information from all Queensland criminal and civil jurisdictions via an email alert to the RIS or CSSC if the information relates to a child subject to a current investigation and assessment or ongoing intervention.

  • Integrated Justice Information Strategy notification

    An Integrated Justice Information Strategy (IJIS) notification is an automated email alert to a RIS or  CSSC providing details of a child’s first scheduled appearance in a criminal court proceeding.  Information may also be received on other participants in the court event. These ‘secondary persons of interest’ may or may not have an existing person record in ICMS.
  • Intensive family support

    Intensive family support services are funded by Child Safety to provide support to help families address multiple and/or complex needs and assist them to build their capacity to care for and protect their children.

  • Intensive foster care

    A program of support for foster carers when a child  has complex and extreme support needs, and the care arrangement requires intensive support. The foster and kinship care service is:
    •  funded to provide additional support to the child and carer
    • responsible for recruiting, training, assessing and supporting carers to provide intensive foster care.
  • Intensive kinship care

    A program of support for kinship carers when a child  has complex and extreme support needs, and the care arrangement requires intensive support. The foster and kinship care service is:

    •  funded to provide additional support to the child and carer
    • responsible for recruiting, training, assessing and supporting carers to provide intensive kinship care.
  • Interim order

    On the adjournment of a proceeding for a court assessment or child protection order the Childrens Court has the power to make an interim order. An interim order made on adjournment of a court assessment order may grant temporary custody to the chief executive, or the child's parents will retain custody.  An interim child protection order may grant custody to a family member or the chief executive.

  • Interstate liaison team

    The interstate liaison team, situated in Court Services, that facilitates Child Safety's interstate liasion functions.

  • Intervention with parental agreement

    Intervention with parental agreement refers to time-limited intensive intervention by Child Safety focusing on the safety, belonging, wellbeing  of a child who is in need of protection, without the need for a court order. The child's parents agree to work cooperatively with Child Safety to keep the child safe, and are able and willing to work actively to reduce the level of risk in the home. The aim is to build the capacity of the family so they are able to meet the needs of the child following the intervention.

  • Interviewing children and recording evidence

    Interviewing Children and Recording Evidence is a training program designed to ensure that Child Safety staff undertake interviews of children in a way that minimises further trauma to the child and ensures information obtained from children meets judicial and legislation requirements.

  • Investigation and assessment

    An investigation and assessment is Child Safety's response to all notifications, and is the process of assessing a child’s need for protection, when there are allegations of harm or risk of harm to the child (Child Protection Act 1999, section 14 (1)).

  • Investigation and assessment event

    An investigation and assessment event is the place in ICMS where information about an investigation and assessment is recorded, including information gathered, safety assessment tool, interviews, the assessment of the child's need for protection, and outcomes of the investigation and assessment.

  • Judicial transfer

    A judicial transfer is a decision made by the Childrens Court to transfer a child protection order to another state or territory. The DCPL may apply to the Childrens Court for a Queensland child protection order to be transferred to another state or territory.

  • kicbox

    kicbox is a Child Safety app that provides a private, digital memory box that keeps everything safe and in one place. It also provides a convenient way for young people to communicate and share information with their Child Safety team.

  • Kin

    Kin (Child Protection Act 1999 , schedule 3) refers to:

    • any relatives of a child who are persons of significance to the child, and
    • anyone else who is a person of significance to the child.
  • Kinship carer

    A kinship carer is a person related to the child or a member of a child's community and considered family or a close friend who is approved by Child Safety to provide a care arrangement for the child. Kinship carers may be further categorised as:

    • grandparents
    • aunts/uncles
    • other relatives or close friend
    • for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, relative care may include another Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander who is a member of, or compatible with the child's community or language group.
  • Kith

    A person in a child's kinship network who is of significance to the child but may not be related to the child, such as a friend or a member of the child's community. Refer to Kin.

  • Licensed care service

    A licensed care service is a service operating under a licence, in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, to provide care arrangements for children in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive.  A licensed care service may provide family-based foster and kinship care services, or non-family based residential care services, with a number of different service delivery models possible under each service type.

    Care services must ensure that the care provided to children meets the required statement of standards in the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • Limited intake response

    A limited intake response is the appropriate response at intake when:
    • the information does not relate to Child Safety’s core business, and
    • the information does not contain allegations of harm or risk of harm to a child, and
    • no further action is required, such as a report to the QPS under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2), advice to an interstate agency about a child, or a review of ICMS to determine if it is an appropriate response.
  • Long-term guardian

    A long-term guardian is a person (other than a parent or the chief executive) who is granted long-term guardianship of a child by the Childrens Court under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 61(f).

  • Long-term guardianship to a suitable person

    A child protection order under the Child Protection Act 1999 granting long-term guardianship of a child to a suitable family member (other than a parent of the child) or another suitable person nominated by the chief executive.

  • Long-term guardianship to the chief executive

    A child protection order made under the Child Protection Act 1999 granting long-term guardianship of a child to to the chief executive until the child's 18th birthday. This gives the guardianship rights and responsibilities in relation to the child, including matters associated with the child's daily care, to the chief executive.

  • Medical examination

    A medical examination is a physical, psychiatric, psychological or dental examination, assessment or procedure, and includes forensic examination and an examination or assessment normally carried out by a health practitioner (Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 3).

  • Mental health assessment

    A type of health assessment for diagnosing mental health conditions (if any) and making recommendations about treatment.  A mental health assessment can be performed by a mental health trained professional, such as a GP, psychiatrist, or other health practitioner.

  • Mental health problem

    A mental health problem may interfere with how a person thinks, feels and behaves but to a lesser extent than a mental illness. Mental health problems are less severe than mental illnesses, but may develop into a mental illness if they are not effectively dealt with. 

  • Minimum contact requirements

    Minimum contact requirements are the minimum number of times a CSO must have contact with a child and family during ongoing intervention (for in-home and reunification cases).

  • Mobile family alert

    A mobile family alert is created in ICMS when attempts made to contact a family or a pregnant women during an investigation and assessment are unsuccessful or indicate the family or woman is transient.

  • My Health Record

    My Health Record is an Australian Government initiative providing an electronic summary of an individual's health information that can be shared securely online between an individual and registered healthcare providers involved in their care.

  • National Disability Insurance Agency

    The National Disability Insurance Agency is an independent statutory agency which implements the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which supports Australians with a significant and permanent disability and their families and carers.

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency and provides reasonable and necessary disability supports for eligible people with intellectual, physical, sensory, cognitive or psychosocial disability, as well as early childhood intervention supports for children with developmental delay.

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme national access team

    A National Disability Insurance Agency team, within the National Disability Insurance Agency Access and Workload Management Branch who review National Disability Insurance Scheme access applications and decisions relating to a participant's eligibility for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme plan

    An National Disability Insurance Scheme plan is a written agreement that outlines the individualised funding for disability supports to be provided for the child by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

  • National Redress Scheme

    The National Redress Scheme provides support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The establishment of a National Redress Scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

  • Natural mentor

    A natural mentor is an informal role recognised under the Next Step Plus program.  A young person may choose to nominate a natural mentor to support their transition to adulthood.  A natural mentor is someone who can ‘walk beside’ the young person, providing stability and continuity, and advocate their needs and goals.

  • Neglect

    The child's basic needs of life are unmet by their parent to such an extent that the child's health and development are affected, causing harm, or likely to cause an unacceptable risk of harm to the child.

  • Next Step Plus

    Next Step Plus is a service provided by a funded non-government organisation to support young people between the ages of 15 up to 25 years who are leaving, or who have left care.

  • Nominated representative

    A My Health Record holder, or their authorised representative, can invite someone else to be their nominated representative to access their My Health Record. This might be the child's carer, family member or trusted friend. Three types of access can be given to a nominated representative - general access restricted access and full access. A nominated representative can access the person's information but cannot change it.

  • Non-aversive reactive strategies

    Strategies used at the point a child is demonstrating high risk behaviour. These strategies do not aim to prevent the situation from occurring again in the future but are used for the primary aim of reducing risk in the moment in a timely, safe and least restrictive way. Strategies include de-escalation, diversion and distraction and should always be considered before an emergency restrictive practice is used.

  • Non-government organisation

    A non-government organisation is a not-for-profit community-managed organisation that receives government funding specifically for the purpose of providing community support services. 

  • Notification

    A notification is recorded where there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is in need of protection, that is, a child has been significantly harmed, is being significantly harmed, or is at risk of significant harm, and does not have a parent able and willing to protect them.

  • Notifier

    A notifier is a person who informs Child Safety that they reasonably suspect a child may be in need of protection, or that an unborn child may be in need of protection after he or she is born. A notifier may be a child, family member, carer, a member of the community, another professional or a person mandated by law to report child protection concerns.

  • Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor

    The Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor (OCFOS) is an in-house legal unit providing early and independent information and legal advice to Child Safety Service Centres in relation to the commencement of child protection applications in Queensland.

  • Office of the Public Guardian

    The Office of the Public Guardian is an independent statutory office established to protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people in the child protection system and adults with impaired decision-making capacity.

  • Ongoing intervention

    Ongoing intervention refers to intervention by Child Safety that occurs with a child and their family following the completion of an investigation and assessment, when it is assessed that:

    • a child is in need of protection
    • an unborn child is in need of protection following their birth.

    Ongoing intervention may also occur in certain circumstances for a young person who has previously been a child in need of protection, following their eighteenth birthday.

  • Ongoing intervention event

    An ongoing intervention event is created in ICMS to record information relating to the ongoing intervention services provided to a child and family.

  • Other child

    Other child is a term used in ICMS to indicate a child who is a relevant person to an event, but who is not the subject child of the event. 

  • Our Child

    Our Child is a real-time, multi-agency information sharing platform, allowing Child Safety Officers and Queensland Police Officers access to important child data from Child Safety, the Department of Education, Office of the Public Guardian, Youth Justice and Queensland Health.

  • Parent

    In the Child Protection Act 1999 , the definition of parent varies across different sections. Section 11 has a broader meaning of parent than the definition that applies in other sections.
    Child Protection Act 1999 :

    • section 11
    • section 23
    • section37
    • section 51AA
    • section 51F
    • section 52
    • section 205
  • Parental strengths and needs assessment

    The parental strengths and needs assessment is a structured decision making (SDM) tool that uses a consistent approach to considering each parent’s strengths and needs when gathering information for the development or review of a case plan.

  • Parenting order

    A parenting order is a set of orders made by a court about parenting arrangements for a child. A court can make a parenting order based on an agreement between the parties (consent orders) or after a court hearing or trial. When a parenting order is made, each person affected by the order must follow it.

  • Permanency

    In accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 5BA, permanency for a child means the child experiencing:

    • ongoing positive, trusting and nurturing relationships with persons of significance to the child (relational permanency)
    • stable living arrangements with connections to the child's community (physical permanency)
    •  legal arrangements for the child's care that provide the child with a sense of permanence and long-term stability.
  • Permanent care order

    A type of child protection order made by the Childrens Court. A permanent care order grants long-term guardianship of a child to a suitable person, nominated by the chief execitve. 

  • Permanent guardian

    A permanent guardian is a person (other than a parent or the chief executive) who is granted long-term guardianship of a child by the Childrens Court under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 61(g).

  • Person of a stated category

    A directive order may specify that a parent's contact with a child can occur only in the presence of a specific person or in the presence of a category of person, such as a CSO, police officer or an employee of a specific non-government agency.
  • Person record

    A person record is created in ICMS to store information relating to a specific person. Each record has the capacity to store data such as a person's names/s, date of birth, cultural identity, contact details, family and other relationships, child protection history and alerts.
  • Physical harm

    Physical harm refers to any detrimental effect of a significant nature on a child's physical wellbeing, as defined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 9.

  • Physical permanency

    Physical permanency refers to the experience of having stable living arrangements with connections to the child's community, which meet the child's developmental, educational, emotional, health, intellectual and physical needs. 

  • Placement agreement

    A written agreement between Child Safety and the carers for a child in a care arrangement, excluding placements with parental consent, which:

    • provides the relevant information known by the department about the child, and sufficient information to allow the carers to provide adequate care for the child and ensure the safety of a child, the carers and other members of the carer's household
    • records the agreed support and services to be provided to the carers.
  • Placement event

    A placement event is created in ICMS to record details of a child's care arrangement including its start and end date and the service or organisation with which the child's carer is affiliated. Placement related documents and forms are saved in the event. 

  • Placement Services Unit

    A Placement Services Unit (PSU) is responsible for managing a continuum of care arrangement options for children in care. It is the conduit for all care arrangement referrals from Child Safety Service Centres to external placement service providers, and facilitates a transparent matching process. A PSU also coordinates all carer applications and approvals and implements process to govern individualised funded care arrangements.

  • Policy override

    An option available in the SDM response priority tool which enables an officer to override the outcome from a five or 10 day response priority timeframe, to a 24 hour response priority timeframe.

  • Practice panel

    A practice panel is an internal process in which Child Safety engages with partners and critical friends, to facilitate a structured case discussion.  The aim of the practice panel is to elicit information and increase critical thinking through analysis and reflection at key decision making points. This is then used in making decisions about outcomes for children, young people and families.

  • Pre-notification check

    A pre-notification check is an enquiry by a CSO to another professional, an external agency or an interstate or international child protection jurisdiction, to gather further information about allegations of harm to a child, to determine if the concerns meet the threshold for a notification. 

  • Prescribed entity

    A prescribed entity includes any of the entities listed in section 159M of the Child Protection Act 1999.

  • Prescribed indictable offence

    Under the Youth Justice Act 1992, a prescribed indictable offence means:
    (a) a life offence, or
    (b) an offence of a type that, if committed by an adult, would make the adult liable to imprisonment for 14 years or more, other than an offence against the Drugs Misuse Act 1986, section 9(1) for which the maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment, or
    (c) an offence against any of the following provisions of the Criminal Code:
    (i) section 315A
    (ii) section 323
    (iii) section 328A
    (iv) section 339
    (v) section 408A(1), if the offence involves a motor vehicle and the child charged with the offence was allegedly the driver of the motor vehicle
    (vi) section 408A(1A) or (1B) (vii) section 412.

  • Pre-sentence report

    Before it sentences a child found guilty of an offence, a court may order the chief executive, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, to give to the court a pre-sentence report concerning the child and containing specified information, assessments and reports relating to the child or the child's family or other matters.

  • Private arrangements

    A private arrangement is when the outcome of a safety assessment is ‘unsafe’ and a child needs to reside outside the home for a period of time due to the level of risk identified. The parents agree to take protective action and arrange for the child to stay with a family member or friend. The parent, not Child Safety, makes the private arrangement and the person caring for the child does not need to be approved as a carer. It will only be for a short period of time, generally two to three days, to allow parents time to take immediate actions required to address the safety issues identified.

  • Problem sexual behaviours

    Problem sexual behaviours refer to sexual behaviour that is abusive in nature, being displayed by children under the age of criminal responsibility (10 years). 

  • Procedural order

    A procedural order is an order the court can make about actions to be carried out during a period of adjournment as outlined in the Child Protection Act 1999, section 68. The purpose of the action is to assist clarify and resolve, if possible, issues related to the child's protection.  The order may result in a report being prepared for the court to assist it make a decision in relation to an application.

  • Professional notifier

    A professional notifier is a professional who informs Child Safety that they reasonably suspect a child is in need of protection, or that an unborn child may be in need of protection after he or she is born. 
  • Prohibited practice

    Prohibited practices are unlawful and unethical practices and practices which cause a high level of discomfort and trauma. Any action which is contrary to the Child Protection Act 1999, section 122, because it frightens, threatens or humiliates a child or young person is a prohibited practice.

  • Properly made

    The ‘Application for approval – Form 3 APA’ is properly made only when it has been completed, signed and dated by the applicant and each adult member of their household, has all appropriate identification documents attached, and is lodged at a Child Safety Service Centre or Placement Services Unit.

  • Protective needs

    A child’s protective needs are those that the child requires in order to be physically and emotionally safe in their home environment.  

  • Provisional approval

    A provisional approval authorises a person to care for a specific child while their application to be a foster or kinship carer is assessed. Provisional approval is valid for a maximum of 60 days. However, it may be extended for a further 30 days. Provisional approval cannot exceed 90 days. It is expected that the person's application to become an approved foster or kinship carer will be finalised during this time.

  • Provisionally approved carer

    A provisionally approved carer is a person who has been approved to care for a particular child for a defined period of time. A provisionally approved carer must have made an application to be either a foster or kinship carer.

  • Public entity

    Under the Human Rights Act 2019, a public entity is an organisation or body providing services to the public on behalf of the government or another public entity. There are two types of entities: core public entities that are public entities at all times (such as the public service and its employees), and functional public entities, that are only public entities when they are performing certain functions (such as a non-government entity engaged to deliver services to the public, on behalf of the government or another public entity). Both have the same obligations under the Human Rights Act 2019.

  • Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal

    The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an independent, accessible tribunal that efficiently resolves disputes on a range of matters. The tribunal's purpose is to provide a quick, inexpensive avenue to resolve disputes between parties and make decisions.

  • Queensland Foster and Kinship Care

    Queensland Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC) is the peak body for foster and kinship carers. It is funded by the Queensland Government to represent and advocate for carers and to contribute to an inclusive and responsive family-based care system.

  • Queensland Police Service

    The Queensland Police Service is the principal law enforcement agency responsible for policing across Queensland.

  • Queensland Police Service planning officer

    A Queensland Police Service planning officer is an experienced investigator assigned from the local Child Protection Investigation Unit, who is allocated the role of working with the Child Safety planning officer to identify matters that meet the criteria for a joint response and to triage the Child Protection Joint Response Team response priorities.

  • Redress

    The National Redress Scheme provides support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. 

  • Regional Intake Service

    Child Safety's Regional Intake Services (RIS) receive information and child protection concerns from community members and government and non-government agencies during business hours.

  • Relational permanency

    Relational permanency refers to a child's experience of having ongoing positive, loving, trusting and nurturing relationships with significant others including the their parents, siblings, extended family members and carers.

  • Reportable death

    A reportable death is recorded when information is received from the QPS about the death of a child. CSAHSC is responsible for managing all initial information pertaining to reportable deaths.  
  • Reportable suspicion

    A reasonable suspicion that a child in care has suffered, is suffering, or is at unacceptable risk of suffering, significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse. Child Protection Act 1999, section 13F(2).

  • Residence order

    A residence order is an order made under the Family Law Act 1975, by the Family Court of Australia, regarding the person or persons with whom a child is to live.

  • Residential care service

    Residential care services are provided to a child or young person in a residential premise by paid employees or contract workers. Employees or workers may include rostered or live-in staff. Non-government residential care services are funded by Child Safety to provide an approved number of places for children and young people requiring a care arrangement.

  • Response priority

    Response priority is an Structured Decision Making (SDM) tool to guide the timeframe in which an investigation and assessment is to be commenced. There are three response timeframes are immediate or within 24 hours, within five days, or within 10 days.

  • Restrictive practice

    Interventions or strategies that are used in response to a child's high risk behaviour which have the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of the child.

  • Reunification

    Reunification is the process of working with a child and their parents to address risk factors and return a child to live safely at home.

  • Reviewable decision

    In accordance with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2000, a reviewable decision is one made under an Act including the Child Protection Act 1999, that a person may apply to have reviewed by QCAT.

  • Risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the collection and analysis of information about the child, their family and their physical and social environment used to determine the likelihood of future harm to a  child. The risk assessment helps determine the level of intervention required.

  • Risk of harm

    Risk of harm is the probability or likelihood of a child suffering physical, psychological or emotional harm in the future. To make this assessment, the presence of risk factors and protective factors for the child must be considered and assessed. 

  • Safe and Together

    The Safe and Together™ Model (Mandel 2017) is a framework for partnering with domestic and family violence survivors and intervening with domestic violence perpetrators to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children. The model:
    • recognises that children's safety, belonging and wellbeing needs are best met if they can be kept safe and together with their non-offending parent
    • provides a suite of tools and interventions designed to help child safety professionals to become domestic violence informed 
    • uses a perpetrator pattern-based approach to assessment, intervention and safety planning for children, young people, parents and families who are affected by domestic and family violence.
  • Safe house

    Safe houses provide residential care services in remote Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities for children and young people under 18 years of age who have been assessed as having a moderate or high level of support need.  Safe house care is provided in a residential premise (not a carer's, or young person's, own home) by paid or contracted workers and/or volunteers.

  • Safe place movement record

    A safe place movement record is completed  when a child under 12 years is taken to a safe place and cared for until the child’s parents or a family member can resume the care of the child, under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 21.

  • Safeguarding

    In the child protection context, safeguarding refers to the process of Child Safety taking action to promote the safety and wellbeing of children in care and protect them from harm, when responding to their challenging or high risk behaviour, in particular, the use of a prohibited and restrictive practice.

  • Safety and support network

    A safety and support network is a team of family, friends, community members, carers and professionals who are willing to work with the child and the family to help the child's parents keep the child safe. 

  • Safety and support plan

    A safety and support plan is developed with the child, family and their safety and support network at any point in the child protection continuum to keep a child safe in the longer term.

  • Safety assessment

    The purpose of a safety assessment is to assess the child's immediate safety and determine what interventions are required to keep them safe if an immediate harm indicator is identified. A safety assessment will always occur at the commencement of an investigation and assessment and is the focus of the first contact with the child and family. Subsequent safety assessments are completed whenever new information becomes available or circumstances change significantly and/or a threat to a child's safety is indicated, or prior to closure of an ongoing intervention case.

  • Screening criteria

    The screening criteria is a structured decision making tool that assist the CSO to assess whether the concerns received met the legislative threshold for a notification or are to be recorded as a child concern report. 

  • Secondary services

    Secondary services are early intervention services available to families who have needs that, if unmet, are likely to lead to children becoming in need of protection. Services are provided with the family's consent and aim to support families earlier before they reach the point of requiring tertiary interventions.  Non-government agencies in the family support sector usually have lead responsibility for the delivery of secondary services and the case management of clients.

  • Self determination

    Self determination is the process by which a person or family controls their own life. It supports the notion that families are the experts in their own lives and hold the knowledge to determine what is in their best interests and the best interests of there children. Self determination means something different for each person and family.
  • Self Service of Document Retrieval portal

    The Self Service of Document Retrieval portal provides access to Queensland criminal history and/or domestic and family violence information from the Queensland Police Records and Information Management Exchange (QPRIME) database. QPRIME does not include expunged or youth justice history

  • Self-harming behaviour

    Self-harming behaviour is the direct, deliberate act of harming one's body without the conscious intention to die.  Self-harm may result in death and is a risk factor for suicide.

  • Senior Education and Training Plan

    State schools ensure that students in Year 10 develop a Senior Education Training plan in partnership with their parents. The SET plan is a key component of a school’s career education program. It maps out a plan of action to put students on track for success in senior secondary, post-school education and work.

  • Senior team leader

    A senior team leader is a Child Safety position responsible for leading and supervising a team of child safety officers, in the delivery of collaborative frontline child protection services to children, their families and communities. A senior team leader also ensures that work complies with legislation, delegations, policies, procedures and quality standards.

  • Separate representative

    The separate representative is a court-appointed independent person who acts in the best interests of the child and ensures that all decisions about the child are made in line with this principle. The separate representative also ensures that the child's views and wishes have been obtained and that case plan goals will meet the protective needs of the child. The separate representative can make recommendations to the court or QCAT after considering all information available about the child's situation and can, if necessary, advise the other parties of their position in relation to the application.
  • Service provider

    A service provider is defined by the Child Protection Act 1999, section 159M as person providing a service to children or families, or a licensee, or an independent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander entity for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Ilsnader child. 

  • Sexual abuse

    Sexual abuse is any sexual activity or behaviour that is imposed on a child and results in physical or emotional harm. It includes the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct or behaviour for the sexual gratification or profit of the person responsible. It also includes circumstances where there is an unacceptable risk that the child may be sexually abused.

  • Sexual orientation

    Someone’s sexual orientation or sexuality refers to who a person is emotionally, physically and/or romantically attracted to. Sexual orientations can include, but are not limited to, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, heterosexual, demisexual and pansexual. 

  • Sexually abusive behaviours

    Sexually abusive behaviours refer to sexual behaviour of children, aged 10 years and over, displayed towards a person with less power. A child displaying sexually abusive behaviours can be charged with a criminal offence.

  • Short break care

    Short break care provides time-limited support to a child in their primary care arrangement. Its purpose is to:

    • enhance the child’s wellbeing
    • assist in meeting case plan goals, including those relating to building and maintaining cultural connections
    • support the carers to continue as primary carers for the child
    • help sustain the caring relationship.
  • Short-term custody order

    A child protection order granting custody of a child to the chief executive or a suitable member of the child's family (other than the child's parent) for a period of up to 2 years. This is under the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 61(d). In accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 12, having custody of a child gives the chief executive or member of the child's family: *the right to have the child's daily care * the right and responsibility to make decisions about the child's daily care. Suitability for a member of a child's family to have custody of a child is in accordance with the Child Protection Regulation 2011, section 17.

  • Short-term guardianship order

    An order made under the Child Protection Act 1999, where guardianship rights and responsibilities in relation to the child, including matters associated with the child's daily care, are granted to the chief executive (for a period of up to 2 years) - see definition of guardianship.

  • Show cause

    Show cause requires a person to produce satisfactory grounds for application of (or exemption from) a procedure or penalty. For exampl e, the Youth Justice Act 1992 provides that where a young person is charged with a prescribed indictable offence that was alleged to have been committed whilst on bail for another indictable offence, there will be an onus on them (through their lawyer) to show cause why their release is justified.

  • Sorry business

    Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples mourn the loss of a family member by following traditional ceremonies and practices, often known as 'sorry business'. Sorry business is an important time of mourning in which family and community members have responsibilities and obligations to attend funerals and participate in other cultural events, activities or ceremonies with the community.

  • Sortli

    Sortli (a contraction of the phrase 'sort out your life') is a free mobile app for young people to help them with their transition to adulthood. Sortli is a fun, informative and easy-to- navigate app that can be installed on Apple, Android or Microsoft mobile devices.

  • Specialist service provider

    A specialist service provider is a prescribed entity that is a non-government entity funded by the state or Commonwealth to provide a service to a relevant child or the child’s family.  A relevant child is a child in need of protection or a child who may become a child in need of protection if preventative support is not given to the child or child’s family.  Examples of a specialist service provider include Family and Child Connect Service (FACC), Intensive Family Support (IFS) Service or Assessment Service Connect (ASC).

  • Specialist Services

    Provide support statewide to children and young people in contact with the child safety system who have a disability, mental health needs, and/or complex and high risk behavioural, psychological or emotional needs. Services are provided through two service teams: Specialist Services team and Transition and Post Care Support team.
  • Specialist services clinicians

    Child Safety regionally based position which provides advice and guidance in relation to children and young people with high and complex disability support needs who are in care or at risk of entering the child protection system.

  • SPR

    Systems and Practice Review 
  • SSoDR

    The Self Service of Document Retrieval (SSoDR) portal provides access to Queensland criminal history and/or domestic and family violence information from the Queensland Police Records and Information Management Exchange (QPRIME) database. QPRIME does not include expunged or youth justice history. 

  • Standards of care

    The statement of standards (Child Protection Act 1999, section 122) sets out the standards by which children in care are to be cared for. These standards apply to all placements made under the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1). 

  • Standards of care review

    A standards of care review is conducted in relation to a child placed in a care arrangement when:

    • concerns indicate that the care provided to the child may not have met the standards of care
    • the specific standards requiring review can be identified
    • there is no information that the child has experienced harm or is suspected to have experienced harm
    • a review is required to determine if the standards are being met, and where not met, what actions are required to meet the standards and improve the level of care provided to the child.
  • Statement of standards

    The Child Protection Act 1999, section 122, prescribes the chief executive's responsibility to ensure that a child placed in the care of an approved foster carer, licensed care service or departmental care service is cared for in a way that meets the statement of standards.

  • Statutory authority

    Legislative mandate given by the relevant legislation to carry out actions in accordance with the legislation.  The Child Protection Act 1999 provides Child Safety with statutory authority to administer the requirements of the Child Protection Act 1999 .
  • Structured Decision Making

    Structured Decision Making is an assessment and decision-making model to assist the Child Safety practitioners in making critical decisions about the safety of children. 

  • Subject child

    A child or unborn child, who is the subject of notified concerns and is reasonably suspected of being a child in need of protection (or in need of protection after birth, for an unborn child).

  • Subsequent health assessment

    A subsequent health assessment is the process undertaken if the child has ongoing health issues, a health issue arises or the child has not had a health assessment for a significant period of time. The same process is used as for a health assessment (refer to ‘Health assessment’ and ‘Child health passport’).

  • Substantive application

    A substantive application is an application made by a person seeking to be approved as a foster or kinship carer under the Child Protection Act 1999.
    A person who has made such an application, may be provisionally approved to provide care for a limited time for a specific child while their application to become a foster or kinship carer is being assessed. A provisionally approved carer’s application to be approved as a foster or kinship carer is referred to as their substantive application.

  • Suicidal behaviour

    Suicidal behaviour is a range of actions related to suicide including:
    • suicidal ideation  thoughts of engaging in suicidal behaviour
    • suicide attempt a potentially self-injurious act intended to end one's life which does not result in death
    • suicide ― a self-injurious act intended to end one's life which results in death.
  • Suicide risk alert

    A suicide risk alert is recorded when it is assessed that a child is a high suicide risk. The child may be:

    • the subject of an intake enquiry, child concern report or notification, or
    • subject to departmental intervention (including through a support service, intervention with parental agreement, an assessment order or child protection order).

    A suicide risk alert in relation to a child subject to ongoing departmental intervention involves the development of an immediate and medium to long-term management strategy (including facilitating access to health services and programs) for addressing the child's physical health and emotional stability.

  • Supervision order

    A supervision order is an order made under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 61(c), requiring the chief executive to supervise the child's protection in relation matters stated in the order while the child remains in their parents' care.

  • Support person

    A support person is a person who is known and trusted by a child, a parent, or a carer, and chosen by the child, parent or carer to support them during a process, such as an investigation and assessment process or a standards of care review.

    It is not appropriate for the alleged person responsible for harm to be the support person for a child or a parent.

  • Support service case

    A support service case is a type of intervention provided by Child Safety that involves providing, or helping to provide, prevention, early intervention and services to support a pregnant woman (to reduce the likelihood of their unborn child needing protection after their birth) or young person (to support their transition to adulthood after they turn 18). A support service case can be opened only if the pregnant woman or young person agree to work with Child Safety.
  • Supported independent living

    Supported independent living is a type of care arrangement for young people in care 15 to 18 years. It provides young people with accommodation and support workers but not live-in workers or carers.  This type of care arrangement may be suited to young people who are transitioning from care.

  • Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team

    The Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team refers to  team made up of core member agencies and other stakeholders involved in providing a multi-agency response to children in contact with Child Safety, as part of the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team system. See Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team core member agencies.   

    The Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team is comprised of:

    •  a Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team coordinator (Child Safety)
    •  a Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team administration officer (Child Safety)
    • core member agency representatives
    • relevant stakeholders from core member agencies, other prescribed entities or service providers who can provide expertise and resources to inform discussion and deliberations by core member representatives.
  • Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team core member agencies

    The Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team core member agencies are Child Safety (lead agency), the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health and the Department of Education. Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team core member agencies provide senior level representation (core member representatives), with sufficient authority to commit their agency to recommendations, to represent their agency in Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team discussions.

  • Systems and practice review

    A review of Child Safety's involvement with a child following the serious physical injury or death of a child who was known to Child Safety in the year prior to their injury or death or at the request of the Minister. Systems and practice reviews are conducted in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999, Chapter 7A by the systems and practice review team.
  • Systems and Practice Review Committee

    Review system implemented by Child Safety to review departmental involvement with children and young people who have died or suffered a serious physical injury. Findings are used to inform Child Safety policy, practice and professional development.
  • Temporary assessment order

    A temporary assessment order authorises actions during the investigation and assessment process when parental consent cannot be obtained. A  temporary assessment ordercan provide the authority to take a child into the custody of the chief executive, but guardianship rights and responsibilities remain with the child's parents. A temporary assessment order may also order specific actions relating to the assessment of a notification, for example, the conduct of a medical assessment in relation to a child. A temporary assessment order can only be granted for a period of 3 business days and can be extended by 1 business day.

  • Temporary custody order

    A temporary custody order authorises the actions necessary to secure the immediate safety of a child, pending a decision of what further action is necessary to meet the child’s protection and care needs. A temporary custody order can provide the authority to take a child into the custody of the chief executive, but guardianship rights and responsibilities remain with the child’s parents. A temporary custody order may also order specific provisions considered appropriate, for example, authorising a medical examination or directing contact. A temporary custody order can only be granted for a period of three business days and can be extended by one business day if intending to apply for a child protection order.

  • Tertiary services

    Tertiary services are statutory ongoing interventions for children who, following completion of an investigation and assessment, are assessed as in need of protection. The goal of tertiary services is to ensure children in need of protection remain safe and to reduce the long-term implications of harm on their wellbeing and development.  Child Safety has lead responsibility for the delivery of tertiary services and the case management of clients.

  • Therapeutic residential care

    Therapeutic model of residential care provided for young people whose needs are unable to be met in home-based care or other residential services.  The aim of therapeutic residential care is to work with young people to support them in developing skills and the ability to regulate behaviour so that they can meet their goals and transition to a less intensive care arrangement.

  • Threshold for recording a notification

    The threshold for recording a notification is reached if information received indicates there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is in need of protection, that is: a child has been significantly harmed, is being significantly harmed, or is at risk of significant harm, and does not have a parent able and willing to protect them (Child Protection Act 1999, section 10 and 14).

  • Torres Strait Islander person

    A person of Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as a Torres Strait Islander person and is accepted as such by the community in which the person lives.
  • Transition officer

    Child Safety regionally based position responsible for providing direct support to a young person with a disability, mental health needs or complex and high risk behavioural, psychological or emotional needs, who is at risk of homelessness when they leave care.

  • Transition order

    The Childrens Court may make a transition order under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 65A, which has the effect of continuing an existing child protection order for a period of up to 28 days, to allow the child’s gradual transition from care arrangements to their parent's full-time care. A transition order cannot be extended.
    A transition order can be made when the court:

    • revokes a child protection order
    • decides an appeal against the making of the order in favour of a person other than the chief executive
    • refuses to extend the order or grant a further order before the order ends.
  • Transition plan

    A transition plan outlines how the chief executive will provide support and gradually transition a child into their parent's care, to minimise distress and disruption to the child.

  • Transition to adulthood

    A process of helping a young person in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive transition from care and enter adulthood. Child Safety has a responsibility to ensure help is available to young people to assist them transition to adulthood from age 15, up to the age of 25 (Child Protection Act 1999, section 75). It is a young person's right to receive appropriate help to transition from care to adulthood, in accordance with the Charter of rights for a child in care (Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 1).

  • Trauma informed

    Trauma-informed care and practice is based on understanding and knowledge of how trauma adversely affects child development and people's lives. It promotes physical, emotional and cultural safety.

  • Unacceptable risk of harm

    Unacceptable risk of harm refers to situations where the risk identified is probable, not possible, and likely to occur in the near future, where there are insufficient protective factors to ensure the child's safety without intervention by the department. The harm must be likely or probable, not just possible and may be a single act or series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances that have a cumulative effect on the child’s safety and wellbeing. There must be a reasonable belief that the parents behaviour, actions or verbal statements or threats will result in harm to the child (Child Protection Act 1999, section 10). The assessment of whether there is unacceptable risk of harm, must take into consideration whether there is a parent able and willing to protect the child from harm.

  • Unaccompanied humanitarian minor

    Unaccompanied humanitarian minor are non-citizen children under 18 years who arrive in Australia without a legal parent. They may arrive either with a relative, an unrelated custodian or by themselves. Child Safety has accepted the delegated powers and functions of guardianship for unaccompanied humanitarian minors from the Australian government.

  • Visitable location

    The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is an independent statutory office established to protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people in the child protection system and adults with impaired decision-making capacity.

    Every child or young person living at a visitable location is entitled to receive services from a Community Visitor or Child Advocate - Legal Officer, Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Visitable sites include the home of a foster or kinship carer, a residential care facility, a youth detention centre, a disability service or a mental health facility.

  • Worry statement

    Worry statements document unacceptable risk of significant harm to a child and describe actions or inactions that may happen in the future to significantly harm the child if nothing changes.  

  • Youth Justice

    The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Youth Justice) is responsible for administering the Youth Justice Act 1992  and managing youth detention centres, youth justice service centres, youth justice conferencing and court proceedings and working with young people in contact with the youth system. Youth Justice staff support young people and supervise and monitor young offenders' progress as they carry out orders and bail programs.

  • Youth justice order

    A youth justice order is an order made under the Youth Justice Act 1992 if a young person pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, an offence. A youth justice order may be community-based or require that a child serve a specified period in detention. A court can make a range of orders including a good behaviour order, a fine, community service orders, supervised release order, probation order, graffiti removal order, conditional release order, intensive supervision order or detention order.