Arrange for renewal of approval
An approved foster or kinship carer is required to renew their approval 1 year from the date of their initial approval and every 3 years after that.
The renewal of a carer’s certificate of approval is similar to the application requirements for initial carer applicants. The following application forms must be lodged by the carer prior to the expiry if their certificate of approval, and deemed to be properly made by Child Safety (refer to Receive and process carer application documents):
an Application for renewal of approval—Form 3B (APA renewal)
- an Addendum for additional household members—Form 3C (used only when an applicant has more than 2 household members)
- a Carer applicant health and wellbeing questionnaire.
The assessment process for a carer renewal application is similar to the assessment requirements for an initial carer applicant, and include:
- personal history and child protection history checks, completed by CSU
- a Household safety study, completed by the assessor
- an assessment of the application, including assessment interviews with the carers, household members and relevant others
- completion of an assessment report, making a recommendation to approve or refuse the application
- the issue of a new certificate of approval if the application is approved.
In addition, the approved carer and adult household members must hold a current blue card or exemption card.
Invite an application for renewal of approval
Regardless of whether the assessment process will be undertaken by a CSO or an external assessor, the PSU is responsible for inviting a foster or kinship carer to renew their certificate of approval.
The PSU will monitor foster and kinship care services' responsibiity to commence the renewal assessment process 3 months prior to the expiry of the carer’s certificate of approval. Foster and kinship carer service providers will support carers commence their renewal assessment by providing the carer with:
- the Application for renewal of approval—Form 3B (APA renewal)
- the Addendum for additional household members—Form 3C (used when an applicant has more than 2 household members
- the Carer applicant health and wellbeing questionnaire.
A long-term guardian or a permanent guardian does not need to renew their approval for the child subject to their guardianship. They only need to renew their carer approval if they intend to provide a care arrangement for other children in care.
Ensure the details of the adult household members of a carer household are included in APA renewal form, including their blue card or exemption card number.
Where a new adult household member is identified, ensure their details have been provided to the CSSC by the carer on the New adult household member form, and they have been issued with a blue card or exemption card prior to joining the carer household. (Refer to Respond to a new adult household member.)
Support carers and adult household members to renew a blue card
The Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act, section 176A, requires approved carers to hold and to continue to hold a current blue card. Blue cards and exemption cards must be renewed every 3 years.
Blue Card Services will send card holders a reminder to renew their blue card before their card expires. Approved carers and adult household members are required to lodge an application no sooner than 16 weeks prior to the expiry date of their current blue card or exemption card.
The preferred method to renew their blue card is through their online account with Blue Card Services, as this will enable blue card applicants to manage their renewal application themselves. For further information about renewing their blue card or exemption card via their online account, refer to the resource, Supporting your card holders to renew online.
If the carer or adult household member does not have an online account with Blue Card Services, advise them they:
- can register for an account at any time. (Refer to the resource, Supporting your applicants to apply online)
- complete a Blue Card Services Volunteer foster/kinship carer or adult member blue/exemption card application form. (Refer to the resource Supporting your card holders to renew offline.)
As long as a carer submits their blue card renewal application before their current blue card expires, they can continue to provide foster or kinship care—even if the new blue card has not been issued by the time the previous one expires.
If they do not apply to renew their blue card before it expires, the child placed in their care by Child Safety will not be able to remain in the care arrangement.
Ensure the renewal application is properly made
Foster and kinship carer applicants are required to lodge the carer application forms, and blue card documents if relevant, at a PSU or CSSC.
The Child Safety representative receiving the application forms will check if the application is ‘properly made’ by confirming that:
- the APA renewal form, correctly completed, signed and dated by the applicant and each household member
- the applicants current blue card or exemption card number is included in the APA form, as well as that of all adult household members
- new adult household members are identified, and their blue card or exemption card number is provided, or if they do not hold a current card, the online account number from Blue Card Services, as provided to them through the Blue Card Registration process, is included. Refer to Ensure blue card applications are lodged.
- a completed Carer applicant health and wellbeing questionnaire has been completed and provided.
The Child Safety representative will complete the Child Safety section of the APA renewal form. The lodgement date will either be the date the forms were provided by the applicant to the CSSC or PSU, or (if the application is subsequently found to be incomplete by the CSU and returned to the CSSC or PSU), the date the missing information is obtained and the forms are resubmitted by the carer applicant. The amended date is recorded as the new lodgement date in the Child Safety section of the APA Renewal form.
Approved carers must provide the APA renewal form and other required forms to the PSU or CSSC, prior to the expiry of their current certificate of approval. If their existing certificate of approval has expired before the carer makes an application, it cannot be progressed as an application for renewal of approval.
The applicant will need to lodge an application for initial approval and complete the Application for initial approval—Form 3A.
Record the renewal in ICMS
When the application is properly made:
- Create an EOI/application for renewal from the carer entity record in ICMS.
- Record the application lodgement and verification of identity details, including that of any new adult household members, in the lodgement/withdrawal tab.
- Attach all relevant forms and other documents to the EOI/application in ICMS.
As identification was verified when processing the initial carer application, there is no need to verify the identity of an applicant or a household member, unless a blue card or exemption card application is completed as part of the assessment process.
Respond when a carer decides to cease being a carer
If an approved carer indicates they do not wish to renew their carer approval, the PSU will tell the carer, or arrange for the foster and kinship service to tell the carer to:
- provide notice of their decision in writing
- ask the carer to return their certificate of approval, as required by the Child Protection Act 1999, section 141A, and to return the Carer Business Discount Card
- inform the carer about available supports, for example, counselling or referrals, when the cessation occurs due to difficult personal circumstances
- notify the CSU immediately
- complete the Advice to Queensland Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC): End of carer approval form in ICMS, and email the form to the QFKC.
For a foster carer, the requirement to surrender their certificate of approval takes effect 21 days after Child Safety is notified of the decision to cease being a carer, or if a later day is stated in their written notice, on the later day. For a kinship carer or a provisionally approved carer, the surrender takes effect on the day the notice is given, or if a later day is stated in their written notice, on the later day.
Update the ICMS records by amending the carer’s approval status in ICMS to Surrendered, and recording the reason why the carer has decided to cease being a carer.
Begin the renewal assessment process
The assessment of the application for renewal of approval will focus on changes since the previous assessment, and include demonstrated examples of how the applicant has provided care in a manner consistent with the legislated statement of standards, and met other suitability requirements. (Refer to the Guidelines for completing an assessment report—Renewal of approval or the Kinship carer renewal assessment report guidelines.)
Alternatively, if there has been limited or infrequent contact with the carer in the preceding 1- or 2-year period, or there have been significant issues of concern regarding the quality of care provided by the applicant or their suitability, the assessment will need to be more comprehensive, and will include structured assessment interviews.
The foster and kinship care service responsible for supervising and supporting the carer since their previous carer assessment usually completes the renewal assessment. However, it may also be completed by a contracted fee-for-service professional. Refer to Foster carer applicant assessment and recommendation—Renewal approval only. The core requirements to be completed by the assessor include:
- assessment interviews with the applicant and household members
- interviews or information from other sources relevant to the assessment
- a household safety study.
Child Safety is responsible for part of the renewal assessment requirements:
- CSU will complete child protection history and personal history checks, and make the decision as to whether the application is eligible or not suitable to progress to the next stage of the carer assessment process.
- The CSO for the child (currently or previously) in the care arrangement will provide information about the carer’s role and capacity in meeting the child’s need for safety, wellbeing and belonging.
The CSSC manager will determine the need for additional discretionary information. (Refer to Determine the need for discretionary information.)
Refer for child protection history and personal history checks
Once a renewal application has been properly made and the application lodgement details have been recorded in ICMS, immediately email the CSU to advise them to proceed with the child protection and personal history checks. (Refer to Request child protection and personal history checks,)
Provide the assessor with information for the assessment
The CSU outcome report will be provided to the CSSC and PSU managers, advising that the applicant is either eligible or not suitable to progress to the next stage of assessment, based on the outcome of the child protection and personal history checks.
CSU outcome report
If the CSU manager decides that the application is eligible to progress, provide the assessor with a copy of the CSU report, ensuring that any information that identifies, or is likely to identify a notifier, has been redacted (removed). In addition, remove information about a person’s youth justice history, unless an exemption under the Youth Justice Act 1992, part 9 applies. (Refer to The application is eligible to progress.)
Interview of the child in the care arrangement
Where possible, the assessor will seek to obtain and consider the views of any child currently or previously in the care arrangement. The CSO and the child’s safety and support network will, in consultation with the child, provide advice on who is best placed to talk directly with the child, and areas to explore when talking with the child. This is likely to be a person the child knows or nominates.
Information provided by the CSO
The CSO with current or previous case responsibility for a child currently or previously in the care arrangement will be contacted by the assessor and asked to provide information. Respond in a timely way when providing the required information to the assessor. Seek the advice of the senior team leader about providing sensitive information that needs to be considered in the assessment.
The assessor may seek information from additional sources, including a community visitor, school staff or early childhood centre staff who have contact with the child currently in the care arrangement, and (where appropriate) a previous foster and kinship care service involved in supporting the carer since the previous carer approval.
Confirm new adult household members
If the assessor becomes aware of new adult household members, they will:
- tell the carer of their legal obligation to immediately complete a Change in carer circumstances—Form 39 and provide this to the CSSC or PSU
- provide information about the adult person’s proposed contact with the carer’s household, to the CSSC manager, for their decision about whether this person meets the legislative intention of an adult of an adult household member.
The Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act, section 176A, states that person must not join or continue to remain part of the carer household as an adult household member, without holding a current blue card or exemption card. If this continues, a new care arrangement will be required for children placed with the carer by Child Safety.
For information about the two exceptions to this requirement, refer to Ensure blue card applications are lodged.
Other changes in a carer's circumstances
If the carer has notified Child Safety that their circumstances have changed since the last assessment, provide this information to the assessor, as it may impact on the carer’s continued suitability. (Refer to Respond to changes in a carer's circumstances.)
Provide the assessor with information about the change in the carer’s circumstances, such as:
- The carer is providing other regulated care services from the home.
- There is a change in household membership.
- Criminal, traffic or domestic violence history of the applicants or adult household members has changed.
- The applicant’s spousal relationship has changed since the last assessment.
- The applicant’s health or employment demands have changed.
The outcome of standard of care reviews or harm reports
If concerns have been raised about the carer being able to meet the standards of care since the last assessment, including the investigation and assessment of harm reports, any relevant information from the assessment and outcome will be provided to the assessor.
Consider the applicant's participation in mandatory training
A foster carer applicant will need to demonstrate that they have completed mandatory training. Requirements differ depending on how long they have been a carer.
It is mandatory for foster carers to complete Starting out training for the first renewal of approval as well as any other training requirements referenced as a condition to their certificate of approval.
Kinship carers are not required to complete Starting out training, but they may choose to so.
Receive and review the renewal assessment documents
The PSU will receive all carer assessment reports and other documentation supporting the carer assessment from the assessor, on the correct template:
- Foster carer applicant assessment and recommendation form—Renewal approval only or the Kinship carer renewal assessment report
- Household safety study
- Foster carer agreement (for foster carer applicants only.)
If the applicant is a Child Safety employee, the assessor (or the PSU if the assessment is undertaken by an external assessor) will also complete the Advice to regional director form and the Conflict of interest declaration form, available in ICMS. (Refer to Arrange for the assessment of an employee's carer application.)
The PSU will:
- attach a copy of the final Foster carer applicant assessment and recommendation form—Renewal approval only or the Kinship carer renewal assessment report to the EOI/application in ICMS
- create a Form 4: Approval decision (from ICMS), adding information from the suitability checks, and for a kinship carer applicant, the details of the child in or proposed to be placed with the carer
- record the quality assurance details, and the assessment recommendation details, in the assessment tab in ICMS
- inform the CSSC manager that the assessment report and relevant assessment information is available in ICMS and provide the Form 4: Approval decision to the CSSC manager, or regional director if the applicant is a Child Safety employee.
File copies of all interview records, reports, handouts and self-assessments on the applicant’s paper file.
Decide the outcome of the application for renewal
Unless an application is withdrawn by the applicant in writing, or refused based on an adverse personal history, the CSSC manager (or the regional director if the applicant is a Child Safety employee) will approve or refuse the application.
Where possible, the renewal decision should be made within 3 months of the date the application was properly made. If an application for renewal is unlikely to be decided within 3 months, and more time is required, ensure the applicant is advised of the delay and the reasons for the delay.
When deciding the outcome of an application for renewal of approval, the CSSC manager, or the regional director where applicable, will consider all assessment information and the legislative and policy requirements for suitability, including:
- the outcomes of all applications for a blue card relating to the carer applicant and adult household members
- the outcome of suitability checks relating to the carer applicant and adult household members, as documented in the Form 4: Approval decision
- whether the applicant continues to be a suitable person to be an approved carer
- whether the applicant has demonstrated an ability to provide care to the child in a manner consistent with the statement of standards, for the preceding period of their initial approval
- whether the applicant is providing or intending to provide other regulated services from the home and the impact this could have on their capacity to continue to provide quality care to children placed with them
- the views of the child and family about a person’s suitability to be a kinship carer for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, if applicable
- the Advice to regional director form and if applicable, the Conflict of interest declaration form (for an applicant who is a Child Safety employee).
The approval decision may be informed by the convening of an assessment panel. (Refer to Convene a carer assessment panel.)
If a new adult household member completes the New adult household member form and a Blue card application form after an application for initial approval or renewal of approval has been properly made, the approval process for the carer applicant may be completed:
- before the new adult household member is issued with a blue card or exemption care
- prior to Blue Card Services validating the new adult household member’s existing blue card (Child Protection Act 1999, section 135(2).)
Approve the application for renewal
To approve the application, the CSSC manager (or the regional director for an applicant who is a Child Safety employee) will record the approval decision, along with any relevant comments, on the Form 4: Approval decision, and sign the form.
Following approval by the CSSC manager, or the regional director where applicable:
- Attach a final copy of Form 4: Approval decision to the EOI/application in ICMS.
- Record application outcome details in the approval/refusal tab in ICMS, with a scheduled review date of 3 months prior to expiry.
When the application is approved, advise the approved carer that:
- their application for renewal has been approved
- they are required to inform Child Safety of specific changes in their circumstances on the Change in carer circumstances—Form 39.
Following the provision of the above advice to the approved carer:
- Complete the Letter of renewal as a foster carer or Letter of renewal as a kinship carer created in ICMS
- Issue a Certificate of Approval—Foster carer or Certificate of Approval—Kinship carer, from the carer entity EOI/application tab in ICMS.
Attach a copy of the certificate of approval and the letter of approval to the EOI/application in ICMS and provide a copy of the certificate of approval and the letter of approval to the foster and kinship care service, if applicable.
A kinship carer requires a separate certificate of approval for each child for whom they are approved.
Refuse the renewal application
If the application for renewal of approval is refused by the CSSC manager, or the regional director where applicable, refer to Refuse the application if the legislative requirements are not met.
Finalise the reviewed foster carer agreement
The Foster carer agreement is reviewed by the carer and the assessor or the foster and kinship care service at least 1 year from the date of a foster carer’s initial approval and every 3 years after that, as part of the process to renew the carer’s approval. The review is a collaborative process involving a discussion with all parties.
The CSSC or PSU may also be involved in this process, particularly if standards of care matters or other concerns about the carer’s capacity to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of children have arisen in the past.
The review will consider what has been undertaken or achieved during the period of the agreement, and consider whether strategies need to be developed to assist the foster carer to meet the goals. During the review, the carer should be encouraged to raise any issues affecting them, including:
- their relationship with Child Safety and the foster and kinship care service
- any positive outcomes or learnings associated with their provision of foster care
- the effect of the last care arrangement on the foster carer and their family
- any difficulties experienced and reasons for these difficulties
- any supports required
- their readiness for other types of care arrangements
- any changes to the original agreement in relation to the type of care and age range of children placed.
The carers, the assessor or the foster and kinship care service will sign the agreement, signifying the recorded information is a true and correct record of discussions held. The foster and kinship care service will ask the CSSC manager to read the agreement and sign it to signify Child Safety’s acknowledgment and agreement.
The CSSC will:
- provide the foster carer with a copy of the final, signed Foster carer agreement
- attach a copy to the carer’s renewal EOI/application in ICMS
- file the signed, original foster carer agreement on the foster carer’s file, with the foster and kinship care service retaining a copy, where applicable.
Consider an additional, early review of the foster carer agreement
If there are there are ongoing concerns in relation to the quality of care provided to children, ask the foster and kinship care service to arrange for an early review of the carer’s foster care agreement. For example, if:
- it is assessed that the carer has not met the standards of care, following the outcome of a standards of care review or the investigation and assessment of a harm report
- there is a change in carer circumstances that may require a review, for example, a change to personal history for the foster carer or an adult household member, such as a new criminal charge or conviction
- the foster carer intends to provide care for other children, for example, by becoming a family day care provider
- the carer requests a review of their foster carer agreement.
- attach a copy of the final foster carer agreement to the carer’s monitor and support screen in ICMS.
Activities identified in the review of the foster carer agreement may be recorded as follow-up activities in the carer’s monitor and support screen in ICMS.
Respond when the spousal relationship ends during the renewal
A carer’s joint renewal application ceases to be valid if the couple separates after the renewal application has been lodged and is in progress and:
- the expiry date of their previous certificate would have lapsed had the renewal application not been properly made prior to its expiry
- only one carer wishes to continue caring.
To obtain approval for the carer who wishes to continue as a carer:
- Ensure the carer submits an initial application to be a carer.
- Progress urgent provisional approval of the carer to enable the placement of any children to continue, where applicable.
- Progress the initial application in accordance with the usual assessment process; however, the carer will not need to repeat mandatory training they have previously completed.
- Leave the joint renewal EOI/application open in ICMS until the carer is granted provisional approval and withdraw the renewal EOI/application once the carer is provisionally approved.
The approval decision for the carer will include an assessment of how their new circumstances will affect their ability to meet the safety, belonging and wellbeing needs of any children in their care. Previously gathered assessment information can be used in the new approval decision, so there should be no need to gather new initial assessment information.
If the application is approved:
- Issue the carer with a new initial certificate of approval.
- Complete a new Foster carer agreement, where applicable.
- Review the placement agreement for any child in the care of the carer, where applicable.
Related forms, templates and resourcesBack to top
Addendum for additional household members—Form 3CRead more
Advice to regional directorRead more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
Application for initial approval—Form 3ARead more
Application for renewal of approval—Form 3BRead more
Carer Applicant Health & Wellbeing QuestionnaireRead more
Change in carer circumstances - Form 39Read more
Conflict of interest declaration form
Conflict of interest declaration formRead more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
Foster carer agreementRead more
Foster carer applicant assessment and recommendation—Renewal of approval onlyRead more
Household safety study formRead more
Interstate Child Protection Protocol October 2021
Interstate Child Protection Protocol , Australia and New Zealand - October 2021Read more
Kinship carer renewal assessment reportRead more
Kinship carer renewal assessment report guidelinesRead more
New adult household memberRead more
Request for interstate assessment—Renewal of approval assessmentRead more This is a secure resource. Only authenticated users may access this content.
Supporting your applicants who apply offline - Blue cardsRead more
Supporting your applicants to apply online - Blue CardsRead more
Volunteer foster/kinship carer or adult member blue/exemption card applicationRead more
Assess and approve initial carer applicantsNext
Respond to specific carer assessment and approval matters
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