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Consider the provisional approval of a carer applicant
The Child Protection Act 1999, chapter 4, Division 3A, allows for the provisional approval of foster or kinship carer applicants to provide care to a specific child for a time-limited period providing the following requirements are met:
|There are no suitable care arrangements available for the child, or it is not in the child’s best interests to be placed with an approved carer or in another available care arrangement.||Child Protection Act 1999, section 136A(2)(b)|
|The prospective carer has lodged an application to be a foster or kinship carer with Child Safety, but this has not yet been decided.||Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C|
|The carer applicant agrees to being considered for provisional approval.||Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(d)|
|The carer applicant is a suitable person to be a provisionally approved carer—specifically they do not pose a risk to the child’s safety; is able and willing to protect the child from harm; and is able to meet the standards of care.||Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e) and
Child Protection Regulation 2011, section 24
|Each adult household member of the carer applicant does not pose a risk to the child’s safety.||Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e) and
Child Protection Regulation 2011, section 25
Requirements for provisional assessment
The three assessment elements of a provisional assessment are:
- A suitability assessment of the carer applicant and their adult household members, informed by checks of their criminal history, domestic violence and traffic history, and child protection history, completed by the CSU manager.
- An assessment of the mandatory safety requirements of the applicant’s household, completed by the assessor.
- An assessment of the carer applicant’s ability to meet the standards of care, completed by the assessor.
If the assessment relates to a sibling group, complete one assessment process for the children identified in the Application for initial approval—Form 3A (APA initial).
Seek the views of the prospective provisional carer
Meet the requirements of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C, by assisting the prospective provisional carer to make an informed decision about caring for the child:
- Explain the purpose and requirements of the provisional assessment, which includes checks of their criminal history, domestic violence and traffic history, and child protection history, as well as for their adult household members.
- Clarify that the assessment for being provisionally approved is in addition to the assessment of their substantive application to be a foster or kinship carer and that provisional approval is not ongoing—it ends on the date specified in the certificate of provisional approval (if the substantive application to be a foster or kinship carer has not already been determined.)
- Outline the child’s current care needs and discuss what assistance may be required to meet the child’s needs, if this has not already been discussed with a prospective carer. (Refer to Take into account the child’s right to privacy.)
Do not undertake criminal history or child protection history checks of a prospective provisional carer or their adult household members, prior to the person lodging an Application for initial approval—Form 3A, even if the prospective applicant provides their verbal or written permission.
Make sure the application forms are completed
If the prospective carer applicant decides to proceed with the provisional assessment but has not yet applied to be a foster or kinship carer, provide them with the following forms for completion:
- an Application for initial approval—Form 3A (APA initial)
- a Carer applicant health and wellbeing questionnaire
- the Addendum for additional household members—Form 3C (used only when an applicant has more than 2 household members)
- information on how they and their adult household members can apply for a blue card, unless they already hold a current card—refer to Blue card requirements.
Help to identify household members for inclusion in the APA initial form—such as people who live with the applicant on an ongoing or temporary basis, or who reside at their property, as well as adults who may be regular visitors. Refer to Ensure adult household members are identified.
The CSSC manager is the delegated officer for deciding whether a person in contact with the carer household is considered an adult household member, as defined in the Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 3.
The Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000, schedule 1 section 14(2), provides an exemption from adult household members of a provisionally approved carer needing to be issued with a blue card prior to placing the child with the provisionally approved carer. However adult household members are required to lodge an application for a blue card (if they are not current blue card or exemption card holders) and include this information in the APA initial form.
Receive and process application documents
The applicant is required to provide the completed carer application documents (refer to Make sure the application forms are completed) as well as the two forms of identification they detailed in the APA initial form, to either:
- the CSSC or PSU, or the CSO during a home visit
- the Queensland foster and kinship care service provider they are affiliated with.
The person receiving the carer application and evidence of identity documents will confirm the applicant’s identity against the identity documents (refer to Verify identity), and will:
- sign, date a photocopy of the documents
- complete and sign the ‘Verification of identity’ section of the APA initial form
- provide the documents to the relevant CSSC.
An applicant who is being assessed for urgent provisional approval is required to provide their drivers licence or customer reference number (CRN) as one of the forms of identification (if they have a CRN) to enable the CSU to complete a traffic infringement check with the Department of Transport and Main Roads in a timely way.
The Child Safety staff member will check the APA initial form and the Carer applicant health and wellbeing questionnaire to make sure they have been properly completed and dated. Immediately return the forms to the applicant to properly complete the documents before entering the date the application is properly made. Refer to Ensure the application is properly made.
Advise the regional PSU when a carer applicant has agreed to be assessed as a provisional carer. They will provide additional advice about:
- the carer applicant’s completion of the Vendor master data form—required to certify the carer’s bank account details
- the regional processes for provisional assessment, such as the iDOCS filing conventions.
As soon as the carer application is deemed to be properly made and the applicant agrees to be provisionally assessed:
- request CSU to commence the suitability assessment
- arrange for the assessor to commence the Provisional approval assessment report and the Household safety study, part 1.
Record applicant details in ICMS
Complete the following steps to create a carer entity in ICMS:
- Check that the applicant does not have a carer entity already created in ICMS as part of their substantive application to be a foster or kinship carer, or a previous carer application.
- If a carer entity has not been created, search in ICMS for the person profile of applicant one, or if there is no person profile, create the person profile using the details provided in the APA initial form.
- Open the regulation of care tab from the person profile and select either foster or kinship carer, depending on their substantive carer application.
- Add or create the person profiles in ICMS of applicant two (where there is more than a single applicant) recording their role and date of birth.
- Repeat the process for all remaining household members (except for a child placed in their care in line with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1)).
- Create an EOI from the carer entity record and make sure all carer applicants and household members are included, then:
- in the enquiry tab record 'no'
- in the lodgement tab, record 'yes' to the provisional approval sought prompt and add the subject child to the application.
- Use the ICMS/iDOCS hyperlink functionality to save all application and identification documents into ICMS.
Refer to the Central Screening Unit for a suitability assessment
The CSU manager is the delegated officer to decide if a carer applicant being considered for provisional approval and their adult household members, are suitable persons under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e)(i) and 136C(e)(ii).
The CSU completes the suitability assessment based on:
- national criminal history
- Queensland domestic violence checks
- Queensland traffic infringement checks
- an assessment of Queensland child protection history for the applicant and all household members, and if relevant, an assessment of interstate and New Zealand child protection history, for any person who has lived in another state, territory or New Zealand during the past 5 years.
Request CSU to commence the suitability assessment as soon as the carer application documents are properly made:
- email the CSU mailbox using csces_csu_process@Communities.qld.gov.au
- include in the email subject line the EOI number of the carer entity, and that the request is for a provisional carer assessment
- make sure the carer application documents are attached to the carer entity EOI in ICMS, so that can be accessed by CSU (refer to Record applicant details in ICMS.)
CSU staff will use the ICMS/iDOCS hyperlink functionality to confirm the details of the carer applicants and adult household members. CSU cannot commence criminal and personal history checks unless the carer application documents have been properly made.
Take action in response to the CSU outcome letter
The CSU outcome letter provides the CSU manager’s assessment of suitability and a summary of this assessment.
Access this document through the applicant’s EOI tab in ICMS, and take one of the following actions:
- If the CSU manager has determined that the applicant and their adult household members are suitable persons:
- complete all other assessment requirements including the Provisional approval assessment report and Household safety study, part 1
- record the CSU managers decision in the ICMS Form 5: Approval Decision - Provisionally approved carer and include any relevant information
- submit the above documents to the delegated officer—refer to Provide the finalised assessment to the delegated officer.
- If the CSU manager has determined the applicant and their adult household members are not suitable persons, the assessment to be a provisionally approved carer cannot proceed. The CSSC will:
- take action to inform the assessor to cease further provisional assessment activities
- tell the applicant that the child will not be placed in their care under a provisional certificate of approval
- explain that their substantiative application to be a foster or kinship carer is unaffected by this decision and will still proceed.
If the child has been placed with a provisionally approved carer in urgent circumstances, prior to completion of the suitability assessment by CSU, and the CSU manager subsequently determines that the carer or an adult household member is not a suitable person:
- remove the child from the care arrangement (refer to Complete end of care arrangement requirements)
- take action to cancel or suspend the provisionally approved carers certificate of approval—refer to Cancel or suspend provisional approval.
Do not use the SSoDR portal to gather criminal history information on carer applicants being provisionally assessed or their adult household members. SSoDR is not an alternative to requesting CSU to complete these checks.
Take urgent action for same day care arrangements
If the carer application and assessment documents are completed on the same day the carer approval or refusal decsion is being sought:
- give priority to completing both the suitability assessment and the provisional assessment
- request urgent criminal history and other personal history checks.
To request urgent checks for same day care arrangements:
- email the CSU mailbox (csces_csu_process@Communities.qld.gov.au)
- include in the email subject line the EOI number of the carer entity, and that the request is for an urgent provisional carer assessment
- make sure that the carer application forms are attached to the carer entity EOI in ICMS, so they can be accessed by CSU (refer to Record applicant details in ICMS.)
The CSU will prioritise the suitability assessment and will:
- submit an urgent after-hours request to the QPS
- complete the CSU outcome letter before 5:00pm (if all the information has been received from QPS and interstate agencies), or provide the CSSC with the information that can be obtained.
If the CSU has not received all the information from the QPS by 5:00pm, the CSSC will:
- request assistance from CSAHSC so the decision to approve or refuse the carer can be referred to the duty executive officer. Refer to Request urgent assistance from CSAHSC.
- ensure the provisional assessment report and household safety study are accessible in the carer entity in ICMS.
Request urgent assistance from CSAHSC
Request assistance from CSAHSC if the CSSC is seeking to place the child the same day the carer application forms and provisional assessment are completed, and it has not been possible to finalise the assessment during business hours. For example:
- the CSU manager is unable to complete the suitability assessment before 5:00pm ( such as when there are delays receiving information from interstate police or child protection authorities)
- the assessor has been unable to fully complete all the elements in the provisional carer assessment report or the Household safety study (for example, because one of the dual carer applicants has been unavailable during working hours.)
The CSSC senior team leader will follow the Statewide protocol—CSAH and placements to:
- email a request to CSAHSC
- be available to discuss the request for assistance directly with the senior team leader CSAHSC
- make sure all carer application and assessment documents are accessible in the carer entity in ICMS, including the partially completed ICMS Form 5 Approval Decision – Provisionally approved carer
- brief the CSSC manager or regional director on the findings of the provisional assessment, and that an after-hours approval or refusal decision will be referred to the duty executive officer, pending the provision of urgent criminal and other personal history checks.
CSAHSC will complete the actions negotiated with the CSSC and will contact the duty executive officer to facilitate decision making after-hours. Refer to Seek an approval or refusal decision after-hours.
Complete the provisional assessment
If the provisional assessment is being completed by the CSO, undertake the following steps to complete the assessment:
- meet with the applicants in their own home where possible
- use the suggested question prompts in the practice guide Provisional approval assessment guidelines when undertaking the assessment
- refer to the applicant’s Carer health and wellbeing questionnaire and discuss the carer’s management of health and wellbeing issues identified by them
- explore the applicant’s self-disclosures of criminal, domestic violence or traffic history, outlined in the APA initial form
- obtain the child’s views about the carer applicant, including their feelings of safety with people in that household. Refer to Enable the child to provide their views.
- complete all fields in the Provisional approval assessment report.
If the assessment is being completed by an assessor external to Child Safety, the CSO will:
- Provide the assessor with information obtained from the child about the proposed care arrangement, as well as any views the child’s parents may have communicated.
- Discuss with the senior team leader any conflicting views expressed by the child or family members about the prospective carer.
If the carer applicant resides in another CSSCs geographical area, the CSSC manager with case management for the child will contact the CSSC manager responsible for the geographical area where the child is proposed to be placed, and request their endorsement to proceed with the proposed care arrangement.
Complete the household safety study part one
The assessor will complete the mandatory safety requirements of the Household safety study, these being:
- water safety
- fire safety
- indoor safety
- firearms requirements, if relevant.
In circumstances where the applicant lives too far away for an on-site visit, or the assessment is urgent, the Household safety study part 1, may be completed remotely, supported by the use of a video conferencing platform.
The Household safety study aims to prevent injury to a child in a family-based care arrangement. Provide a copy of Tips to make your pool safer to the applicant. Discuss the expectations for water safety and supervision, regardless of whether or not the applicant has a pool or spa.
|Delegated officer||Assessment context|
CSSC manager of the CSSC holding case management for the child
Based on the:
|Regional director who is in the role of the duty executive officer (only where an urgent decision is required after-hours)||
Based on the:
If the applicant is a Child Safety employee, provide the assessment documents to the regional director, who will decide whether to grant a certificate of approval as a provisional carer. Refer to Decide an employee’s carer application.
Complete the ICMS Form 5: Approval decision—Provisionally approved carer
Provide the delegated officer with the following assessment information:
- the Provisional approval assessment report
- the Household safety study form, part 1
- the ICMS Form 5: Approval decision—Provisionally approved carer with the following fields completed:
- the CSU manager’s suitability decision, or if this cannot be finalised, a summary of both the ICMS child protection history and the QPS history
- details of the children to be placed (if approved)
Decide the outcome of the provisional assessment
The CSSC manager as the delegated officer will consider the following legislative requirements before making an approval or refusal:
- the applicant does not pose a risk to the child’s safety (Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e)(ii)) and is able and willing to protect the child from harm
- the applicant can meet the standards of care Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e)(iii)
- all members of the applicant’s household are suitable persons to associate with the child (Child Protection Act 1999, section 136C(e)(iii).
The Child Protection Act 1999, section 136D(5), states that the provisional certificate of approval can only be issued for 60 days. If an amendment is required to extend the period of approval, refer to Extend the approval expiry date.
If the delegated officer does not provisionally approve the carer applicant, the decision is not a reviewable decision. The affected person is unable to apply to QCAT for a review of the decision. The refusal decision does not affect their substantiative application to be a foster carer or kinship carer.
Seek an approval or refusal decision after-hours
When the CSU manager’s suitability decision cannot be finalised on the same day the child requires a care arrangement, the regional director (as the duty executive officer) is delegated to make the decision to refuse or provisionally approve a carer applicant after business hours.
CSAHSC will make sure the duty executive officer has the information to make an approval or refusal decision after-hours, including:
- the most recent information from the urgent QPS request
- an assessment of ICMS history regarding the applicants and household members (completed by the CSU during business hours)
- the CSSC manager’s or CSSC’s regional director’s endorsement of the assessor’s recommendation as outlined in the provisional approval assessment report and the Household Safety Study, Part 1.
The duty executive officer can provisionally approve the carer in the absence of:
- a completed CSU outcome letter
- information that provides a basis for refusal.
The information obtained for urgent after-hours checks does not replace the suitability assessment made by the CSU manager, even when the carer has been provisionally approved in urgent circumstances by the duty executive officer.
The CSU manager will still complete a suitability assessment when provided with the final information from the QPS and other sources and document the decision in a CSU outcome letter. Refer to Take action in response to the CSU outcome letter.
Issue a certificate of approval as a provisionally approved carer
If the delegated officer has approved the applicant, complete the following actions:
- Record the delegated officer’s decision in the provisional approval section of the Approval/refusal tab in the carer entity in ICMS.
- Prepare the Certificate of Approval—Provisionally approved carer in ICMS for the delegated officer’s signature, including any conditions to the approval.
- Prepare a Letter of approval as a provisionally approved carer in ICMS for the delegated officer’s signature.
- Ensure the certificate of approval and the letter are sent to the approved carer.
If the approval decision has been made by the duty executive officer after-hours, the CSSC or PSU will complete the above requirements (in line with the local regional agreement).
The Child Protection Act 1999, section 136D(3) requires a separate certificate of approval for each child identified in the APA initial form and the provisional approval assessment report.
If it is subsequently proposed to place another child with the provisionally approved carer (before the expiry of the certificate of approval as a provisionally approved carer), the carer needs to be assessed as a suitable person for the subsequent child.
- Complete a new ICMS Form 5: Approval decision—Provisionally approved carer.
- Provide to the delegated officer information relevant to the care of this child.
- Specify any conditions relating to the approval specific to the care of this child.
- Include information about the CSU managers suitability assessment, if it had not been completed as part of the earlier provisional assessment.
If the delegated officer provisionally approves the carer for the subsequent child, prepare another Certificate of Approval—Provisionally approved carer in ICMS for that child, and provide to the carer.
Take specific actions following provisional approval
Follow the Commence a care arrangement checklist to identify the requirements for a new care arrangement, including:
|Additional action required||Refer to|
Issue the carer with an authority to care form.
Make sure the carer has up to date and written information about the child.
Identify additional supports for the carer and child.
Arrange a placement meeting with the carer,
|Provide information to the child’s parents about where and with whom the child is placed.||Advise parents where the child in living|
Consider the support and information needs of the child
Practice kit, Care arrangements, Transitions
Pay carer allowances
Work with the CSSC business support team to make sure the provisionally approved carer receives the fortnightly caring allowance, as well as other caring allowances approved by the CSSC manager. To commence payment of the fortnightly caring allowance, the nominated CSSC staff member will:
- make sure a carer entity profile in ICMS (if one has not already been created)
- complete the Vendor master data form, if one has not already been completed by the carer
- provide the information to the CSSC business services team so they can create a SAP account—to enable carer payments to transfer to the carer’s bank account
- follow the Carepay system process by creating a placement record in the ICMS locations tab for a Carepay task to generate for payment.
Help a new carer understand their legislative obligations
If the provisionally approved carer has not completed the ‘Getting ready to start’ training modules or they are not supported by a foster and kinship care service provider, provide the carer with information about:
- the standards of care
- their obligations regarding privacy and confidentiality
- the legislative requirement to tell Child Safety of a change in their carer circumstances, including a change in household membership—refer to Change in carer circumstances
- the after-hours support provided by the foster and kinship carer support line—refer to Consider a referral to the foster and kinship care support line
- how to access the Connecting with carers website, for information on:
- financial supports that may be available
- the types of decisions a carer can make about the child in their care
- matters about a child’s health and wellbeing needs
- information about case plans and placement agreements.
Take action when advised of a new spousal relationship
If a provisionally approved carer who was issued with a certificate of approval as a single carer then advises Child Safety of a new spousal relationship, make sure the following actions occur:
- Advise the provisionally approved carer and other adult to complete a joint application for initial approval as foster or kinship carers.
- Ensure the new carer application documents are properly made (refer to Ensure the application is properly made) and the identity of the other person has been verified (refer to Verify identity).
- Create a new initial carer EOI/application in ICMS for the applicant couple.
- Arrange for the assessor to commence an assessment of the new carer application (refer to Identify the assessor.)
If the joint application is approved by the CSSC manager or PSU manager:
- Issue the carers with a new joint certificate of approval.
- Request the return of the previous certificate of approval.
- End the existing single carer entity approval in ICMS with an end reason of Surrendered, as a new joint carer entity will automatically be created in ICMS upon approval.
- Ensure any existing care arrangements are updated in ICMS to reflect the new carer entity.
- For foster carers, attach the new Foster carer agreement to ICMS.
- Review the placement agreement for any child in the care of a kinship carer, taking into consideration any changes to the support needs for the new carer entity. (Refer to Prepare for the placement meeting to review the placement agreement.)
Amend the provisional carer's certificate of approval
Extend the approval expiry date
The Child Protection Act 1999, section 138B(2) enables the CSSC manager or PSU manager to extend the certificate of approval as a provisionally approved carer for no more than 30 days if all the following requirements are met:
- the existing certificate of approval as a provisional carer has not expired
- the extension is considered desirable and appropriate to meet the needs of the child named on the certificate
- the carer agrees to the extension of the expiry date.
If the delegated officer extends the expiry date:
- Record the provisional approval extension details in the approval/refusal tab in ICMS.
- Provide the carer with a new Certificate of Approval—Provisionally approved carer, retaining the existing details and conditions (if relevant), and adding the new expiry date.
- Attach a copy of the new certificate of approval to the EOI/Application in ICMS and provide a copy to the foster and kinship carer service, where relevant.
If the provisional certificate of approval:
- has already expired, it cannot be backdated to enable the extension
- has been extended once by 30 days, it cannot be extended further, as the Child Protection Act, chapter 4, Division 3A, does not provide for successive provisional approvals of the same carer applicant.
If the carer’s substantive carer application to be a foster or kinship carer has not yet been approved, the child cannot continue to be placed in their care under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1).
Make other amendments
The CSSC and PSU manager are delegated to make additional amendments to a provisional certificate of approval. This can occur in response to the carers request for a specific amendment to be made (refer to the Child Protection Act 1999, section 138) or in other circumstances, such as:
- The carer has agreed to an amendment.
- The carer is not meeting the statement of standards or a condition of the certificate of approval.
- The carer has contravened a provision of the Child Protection Act 1999.
- The certificate was issued because of a materially false or misleading representation or declaration, orally or in writing.
- Further information has been obtained about the carer’s application.
- It is considered necessary or desirable because of a circumstance prescribed under a regulation.
If the delegated officer decides that an amendment is required and the provisionally approved carer has not applied for the amendment:
- meet with the provisionally approved carer to discuss the reason for the amendment
- provide written notice to the provisionally approved carer, stating:
- the proposed amendment and the reasons for the amendment
- the carer is unable to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a review of the decision to amend a provisional certificate of approval.
Following provision of the written notice the CSSC or PSU manager will:
- Issue the carer with a new Certificate of Approval—Provisionally approved carer.
- Attach a copy of the new certificate of approval to the carer’s file using the ICMS/iDOCS hyperlink functionality.
The amendment of a provisional certificate of approval does not affect the carer’s pending application for approval as a foster or kinship carer.
If the CSSC manager decides not to proceed with the amendment, provide written notice to the provisionally approved carer of their decision not to amend the certificate of approval.
Cancel or suspend provisional approval
A provisionally approved carer’s certificate of approval will be suspended or cancelled in any of the following circumstances:
- The CSU manager has decided that a carer or adult household member is not a suitable person, with respect to their criminal history, domestic violence and traffic history, and child protection checks, and this information is provided after the regional director or duty executive officer has provisionally approved the applicant.
- The substantive application for approval as a foster carer or kinship carer has been refused.
- The provisionally approved carer or an adult household member has withdrawn their application for a blue card or exemption card.
- Blue Card Services has taken any of the following actions in relation to the carer or an adult household member:
- issued a negative notice or negative exemption notice
- suspended or cancelled a current blue or exemption card.
If the delegated officer decides to suspend or cancel a provisionally approved carer’s certificate of approval:
- meet with the carer to discuss the reason for the suspension or cancellation
- provide written notice to the provisionally approved carer using the Letter of suspension/cancellation (PAC) template from the M&S event in the approval tab in ICMS, outlining:
- the reasons for the decision to suspend or cancel the certificate of approval
- that the action does not affect the carer’s application for approval as a foster or kinship carer
- there is no right to seek review by QCAT
- as required by the Child Protection Act 1999, section 141 request the carer to return the provisional certificate of approval to the CSSC manager in no less than 2 days after this written notice.
Complete the following additional actions:
- update the carers approval status in ICMS to reflect the suspension or cancellation decision
- record an ICMS alert in the carer entity ’Carer certificate of authority cancelled/suspended’
- provide a copy of the written notice to the CSU manager
- return the certificate of approval to the carer, if the certificate of approval was suspended, at the end of the period of suspension.
Someone who has been a provisionally approved carer will not be referred to Queensland Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC) for an exit interview, as their substantive application is still to be assessed and decided.
Related forms, templates and resourcesBack to top
Addendum for additional household members—Form 3CRead more
Application for initial approval—Form 3ARead more
Carer Applicant Health & Wellbeing QuestionnaireRead more
Commence a care arrangementRead more
Household safety study formRead more
Provisional approval assessmentRead more
Provisional approval assessment guidelinesRead more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
QPS—urgent request (after hours)Read more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
Tips to make your pool saferRead more
Vendor customer master data formRead more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
Version historyBack to top
Reflects changes to statutory delegations, and changes to QPS business processes specific to urgent (same day) criminal history requests.
This new key step created with revised content on the provisional assessment and approval of carers.