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Roles, responsibilities and delegations

Use this information to understand how the roles and responsibilities delegated by the chief executive to Child Safety staff contribute to the delivery of high quality child protection services to children, families and communities.

Service delivery functions

Service centre manager

Managers provide leadership and management by:

  • implementing quality business and practice systems and standards
  • ensuring child protection services comply with relevant
    • legislation
    • delegations
    • policies
    • procedures
    • quality standards
  • establishing enduring productive partnerships with approved carers, the community and other government and non-government sectors
  • providing ongoing professional development and management of staff.

Senior practitioner

Senior practitioners support and monitor the quality of the child protection service provided to children, their families and the community by:

  • providing specialist knowledge of child protection practice approaches
  • mentoring and developing the practice skills and knowledge of CSOs, CSSOs, cultural practice advisors and senior team leaders
  • monitoring and facilitating the implementation of relevant legislation, delegations, policies, procedures and quality standards
  • managing ongoing improvement of child protection practice
  • participating in, or conducting reviews of, complex or sensitive cases.

Senior team leader

Senior team leaders provide leadership to and management of a team of professional and operational staff to make sure the delivery of child protection services is of a high quality. This includes:

  • undertaking the roles of an authorised officer under the Child Protection Act 1999
  • leading and supervising a team of CSOs in the delivery of services to children, their families and communities
  • providing professional supervision to staff involved in service delivery
  • making sure the services are delivered in line with legislation, delegations, policies, procedures and quality standards.

Child safety officer

CSOs provide statutory child protection services to children and families by:

  • undertaking the roles of an authorised officer under the Child Protection Act 1999
  • delivering services in accordance with legislation, policy and practice guidelines within a strength-based, safety-oriented framework for practice
  • working jointly with approved carers, the community, government and non-government service providers to meet the needs of children and families who come into contact with the child protection system.

Senior child safety officers

Senior CSOs work jointly with CSOs and CSSOs on complex and sensitive cases by:

  • working to ensure the safety, belonging and wellbeing of all children and young people in the child protection process
  • delivering statutory child protection services including assessment, intervention, case work and case management
  • delivering services in accordance with legislation, policy, practice guidelines within a strength-based, safety-oriented framework for practice
  • mentoring and supporting of newly appointed and less experienced CSOs and CSSOs to develop their skills and knowledge.  

Cultural practice advisor

Cultural practice advisors provide individualised and culturally appropriate case work support to children and families by:

  • facilitating positive family connection and reunification based on their knowledge of
    • the community and cultural protocols
    • kinship care options
    • referring to and advocating for culturally specific services
    • supporting transition to adulthood  plans
  • providing high quality practice advice and direction to assist in making decisions about the safety needs of children
  • providing cultural leadership to support the delivery of well-planned and culturally appropriate support to children and families.

Child safety support officer

CSSOs, including senior CSSOs, 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 case work support and advice to assist in making decisions about the safety, belonging and wellbeing of children.

Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect team coordinator

SCAN team coordinators support collaborative information sharing and case work support by:

  • coordinating functions of the SCAN team to enable effective, professional discussion of referrals, reviews and recommendations according to a child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs
  • consulting and liaising with core members of the SCAN team and other invited government and non-government agencies about SCAN team processes
  • providing advice, consultancy and support to SCAN team members
  • developing and maintaining records and review systems consistent with statutory requirements and the administrative requirements of the SCAN team system
  • assisting in the development of practice standards, operational guidelines and review mechanisms to promote effective and efficient SCAN team system functioning.

Principal child protection practitioner

The Principal Child Protection Practitioner (PCPP) plays a central role in providing an alternative referral pathway for families. This enables them to access support services so they can address issues earlier.

While remaining in the employ of Child Safety, PCPPs are located in each Family and Child Connect to:

  • provide child protection advice and guidance
  • support professionals and community-based intake workers to manage any child protection risks
  • facilitate the involvement of Child Safety by acting as a link between the secondary and tertiary services sector.

The PCPP works collaboratively with local government and non-government service providers to support earlier and more effective intervention with children and families who have been referred for help. They provide consultancy and advice to Family and Child Connect and intensive family support services on child protection matters, as well as education on statutory child protection system processes and responsibilities.

Family group meeting convenor

Family group meeting convenors make sure family group meeting processes are inclusive. They also make sure family-led decision making processes provide family-based responses to a child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs. They achieve this by:

  • planning and preparing participants for the family group meeting
  • facilitating the family group meeting
  • recording the case plan developed at the family group meeting.

Administrative staff

Administrative staff offer support services to service delivery staff by:

  • providing reception duties
  • administering financial processes including procurement, ordering, payment of accounts and petty cash
  • record keeping
  • facilitating carer allowance processes and support
  • providing quality services in data input, word processing and spreadsheeting.

Business support officer

Business support officers aid in the delivery of services to children and families by:

  • developing, implementing and maintaining effective administrative systems
  • providing advice to all staff on administrative and operational issues
  • supporting the management of the human, physical and financial resources of the service area
  • providing specific advice and guidance to managers about business systems and services.

Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor

The Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor (OCFOS) provides CSSC staff with in-house legal advice, representation and support for child protection matters that are in, or likely to be in court.

The role of the OCFOS lawyer is to:

  •  provide high quality independent legal advice in relation to the chief executive’s child protection court related functions
  • draft and settle applications for TAOs, CAOs and TCOs and appear for CSSCs on these matters, under an instructional model
  • provide advice in relation to the initial evidence needed to seek a child protection order
  • work with CSSC staff to prepare briefs of evidence for matters being referred to the DCPL for child protection orders
  • appear on behalf of CSSCs in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, when the department is a party to the proceedings
  • provide legal advice and representation on adoption matters
  • provide legal advice and representation to make application for a change of name for a child in care
  • deliver training to CSSC staff on court and other legal topics.

Delegated powers

The work of Child Safety is regulated by Acts relating to:

  • child protection
  • adoption
  • the public sector/human resources
  • financial administration.

For the purposes of the Child Safety Practice Manual, refer to the Acts relating to child protection and to adoption, in particular the:

  1. Adoption Act 2009
  2. Adoption Regulation 2009
  3. Child Protection Act 1999
  4. Child Protection Regulation 2011
  5. Childrens Court Act 1992 .

These Acts each confer powers on the chief executive. They also give the chief executive the ability to delegate statutory powers to officers or categories of officers. This occurs formally through an 'instrument of delegation' signed by the chief executive. It gives relevant staff the legal authority to perform the relevant actions.

The Child Safety Practice Manual provides staff with professional guidance and direction for actions they are to undertake.

Officers of Child Safety have a responsibility to be informed of relevant instruments of delegation. The Code of Conduct For the Queensland Public Service, section 1.2 (created under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994), states that officers are responsible, in relation to their role:

  • for maintaining a good working knowledge of:
    • legislation
    • policies
    • standards
    • procedures
  • for making sure decisions are consistent with these.

Further information about statutory delegations and how to use them is provided for staff in the online training GRO-O: Statutory delegations.

Also, the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 , section 7 requires public service officials to uphold the laws of the state and the Commonwealth, and the Public Service Act 2008, section 26 requires that public service employees observe all laws relevant to their employment.

Other Acts that have delegations applying to officers of Child Safety are:

All ‘in force’ legislation is available online at the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.


Refer to the statutory delegations on the Child Safety intranet for the instruments of delegation for specific roles across Child Safety.

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