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Our role is to assess, plan, and work with parents, families, communities and carers to build safety, belonging and wellbeing. We do this best when children have a say in the decisions that affect them.
All aspects of our work are guided by:
- the values, principles, knowledge and skills outlined in the Strengthening families Protecting children Framework for practice
- our commitment to the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, and
- our commitment to applying the Safe and Together model to partner with domestic and family violence survivors and intervene with domestic and family violence perpetrators.
Focusing on relational, physical and legal permanency, we work to ensure safety at home (where possible). Our decisions are aligned with the Child Protection Act 1999 and its main principle, which is that ‘the safety, wellbeing and best interests of a child, both through childhood and for the rest of the child’s life, are paramount’.
Strengthening families Protecting children Framework for practice
The framework for practice is a strengths-based, safety oriented approach that includes rigorous and balanced assessment and planning processes.
It brings a focus to harm and worries and the building of safety and support networks to increase safety.
Refer to the practice guide Framework for practice.
Child placement principle
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle recognises the importance of connections to family, community, culture and country.
The five elements of the principle—prevention, participation, partnership, placement and connection—guide our legislation, policy, and practice.
Safe and together model
The Safe and Together model is a perpetrator pattern-based approach to assessment, intervention and safety planning for children, young people, parents and families impacted by domestic and family violence.
Its three key principles underpin domestic and family violence-informed child safety practice and assist practitioners to hold those accountable for their choices and behaviour.
Obligations under the Human Rights Act 2019
Queensland’s Human Rights Act 2019 protects 23 human rights in law. The Human Rights Act 2019 protects the rights of everyone in Queensland and requires the Queensland public sector to act and make decisions which are compatible with these rights.
The Human Rights Act 2019 requires ‘public entities’ to consider human rights in all decision-making and action, and only limit human rights in certain circumstances and after careful consideration. When delivering services and interacting with the community, public entities must:
- act compatibly with human rights when making decisions or taking actions
- give proper consideration to human rights when making decisions or taking actions.
These obligations apply to Child Safety staff, as employees of a public entity under the Human Rights Act 2019 and apply to all aspects of decision making that is undertaken by Child Safety staff, who have a responsibility to respect, protect and promote the human rights of individuals.
The 23 human rights are not absolute - that is, they are allowed to be limited, but only after careful consideration and only in a way that is necessary, justifiable and proportionate. This means that Child Safety staff can act or make a decision that limits human rights, but only if it is reasonable and justifiable, or if they could not have acted differently or made a different decision because of another law, for example, the Child Protection Act 1999.
Individuals who believe they have had their human rights limited can raise their concerns with the Complaints Unit. After 45 business days, if they remain unhappy, they can lodge a complaint with the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
The Queensland Human Rights Commission will refer concerns back to the department if a departmental complaints process has not been commenced.
The following steps will assist Child Safety staff to make decisions that are compatible with human rights when acting or making decisions:
- Identify the relevant rights.
- Consider the impact, and whether the decisions made will limit or restrict any of the relevant rights identified? If not, there is no impact on human rights. If yes, move to step three.
- Determine whether the limit is reasonable and justified. The following questions will assist staff ensure that actions or decisions that are being considered are compatible with human rights:
- Is it lawful? – Is there a legal authority or framework which allows you to limit a person’s rights?
- Is there a purpose? What is the aim of the limitation? Does it achieve a legitimate purpose?
- Is it reasonable? Will what you are proposing effectively achieve your purpose?
- Is it necessary? Is this the least restrictive way to achieve your purpose?
Refer to the Compliments and complaints page on the intranet for information on how to raise human rights concerns.
Refer to the Queensland Human Rights Commission website for:
- information about the 23 human rights
- information about public entity responsibilities
- the commission's complaints processes
- resources to support staff to act and make decisions in a way that is compatible with these human rights.
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Updates for February release
Content update - obligations under the Human Rights Act 2019