Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
Up-to-date information on how we are responding to COVID-19
Stay informed

Support a care arrangement

Arrange a placement meeting and complete a placement agreement

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 84, requires Child Safety and an approved carer to enter into a written placement agreement regarding a child’s care.

Child Safety is responsible for ensuring a placement meeting occurs. The placement meeting:

  • is an important part of working collaboratively with and assisting carers and care services to provide quality care for a child
  • is for the purpose of ensuring: 
    • carers and care services have access to relevant information about a child
    • adequate support is available for the child and the carer.  

Note

Information is provided to enable the carer or care service to:

  • provide an appropriate level of care for the child 
  • ensure the safety of the child, the carer and members of the carer’s household, or the safety of children and staff in a residential care service
  • ensure the safety of a child, in the exceptional circumstances where it has been decided that a child’s parent may reside in the carer’s household.

A placement agreement must be developed for each child placed in a care arrangement. This includes a child subject to an assessment order, child protection order or care agreement where the child is placed with:

  • an approved kinship carer, an approved foster carer or a provisionally  approved carer (either primary or short break care)
  • a licensed care service, including a residential care service or therapeutic residential care service.

The placement agreement:

  • outlines the goals of the care arrangement
  • provides relevant information about the child, including the child’s strengths and needs and assessed level of support needs
  • records the agreed support and services to be provided to the carer or care service, based on the child’s assessed level of needs
  • establishes the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties in achieving the case plan goals and outcomes of the care arrangement.

Negotiate the placement agreement

Time sensitive

Arrange a time with the carer, and their foster or kinship care agency support worker or the residential care service, to complete the placement agreement before the child’s care arrangement commences. If this is not possible, arrange a placement meeting within 3 business days of the care arrangement commencing.

If a care arrangement is required at short notice and limited information is available about the child, complete a placement agreement based on all known information and record a short review timeframe. Update the agreement when more details are known.

If possible, and in line with the child’s age, level of maturity and ability to understand, involve the child in developing the placement agreement.

Tip

If agreed to by all parties, the placement meeting may be arranged or facilitated by the care service. If a CSO, carer or care service staff member is unable to attend the placement meeting in person, arrange for their participation by phone.

The placement meeting:

  • enables the CSO, carer and foster and kinship care service or care service staff to work together to identify the child’s needs and the supports required by the carer or staff to assist in meeting the child’s needs
  • gives the CSO an opportunity to assess how the child’s needs are going to be met in line with their case plan
  • strengthens the partnership between the CSO, foster and kinship care service and carers
  • assists in identifying any possible care arrangement pressures and enable strategies to be implemented to help address these—for example, an Evolve  referral for behavioural support, or trauma-informed training  for a carer.

Record the placement agreement

At the placement meeting the CSO will:

  • provide information in an open, accountable and timely manner to enable the carer to provide a level of care consistent with the legislated statement of standards (Child Protection Act 1999section 122)
  • maintain the confidentiality of personal information about the child or parents that is not directly relevant to ensuring the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing, or the safety of other members of the carer's household
  • ensure the arrangements made maintain family relationships and support individual rights and ethnic, religious and cultural identity or values
  • use the Foster care matching tool and the carer’s observations, if this has not already occurred prior to the child being placed in the care arrangement, to consider whether any other supports might be required. (Refer to Decide on supports for the proposed care arrangment).

The placement agreement will include the following information:

  • a brief summary of the reasons for the child entering care and significant historical information
  • relevant details about the child, their family and other people of significance to the child
  • the care arrangement information given to the child’s parents
  • information about the child’s health, including:
  • information about the child’s education, religion, culture, behavioural support needs and recreational interests or hobbies
  • ways to positively maintain and extend the child’s self-development and life skills
  • decisions about the child’s care that are able to be made by the carer, and decisions to be made by the child’s parents or Child Safety (Refer to Procedure 5 Determine who may decide a custody or guardianship matter)
  • information regarding behavioural factors that may impact on the safety and wellbeing of the child or others in the household, for example:
    • previous sexual abuse (Refer to the practice guide Children with sexual abuse histories)
    • previous relationships with other children (including incidents of conflict or bullying)
    • previous suicide risk alerts, suicide risk management plans  and related outcomes 
  • relevant information from agencies involved with the child, including specialist services such as Evolve
  • information about the child’s swimming ability, particularly if the carer or care service has a swimming pool, spa or other water hazards such as creeks, dams, rivers, water troughs, in or near their premises. If needed, develop a strategy to manage any identified risks
  • information about the carer's commitment to providing care in line with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 83(7)―when the child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, and the carer is not
  • existing or additional supports and services required for the child, and financial responsibility for any costs incurred, in line with expenditure agreed in the child’s case plan
  • family contact arrangements
  • roles and responsibilities for the child’s care, including the nature and level of parental contact if, in exceptional circumstances, a decision has been made that the parent may reside in the carer’s household
  • the agreement between Child Safety and the carer or care service about:
    • the goals of the care arrangement
    • the duration of the care arrangement
    • the support and services available to the carer or service, including any short break arrangements
    • the timeframe for reviewing the placement agreement.

Record the placement agreement

Record the main details of the placement meeting, including agreed roles and responsibilities, in the Placement agreement in ICMS. Give a copy to the carer and the foster and kinship care service.

In the Carer support section of the placement agreement, record specific details of all identified supports a foster or kinship carer will receive. This ensures the CSO, carer and foster and kinship carer agency staff have a clear record of:

  • the agreed supports the carer will receive
  • who is to provide the support.

Review the placement agreement

Review the placement agreement on a regular basis, and at a minimum, every 6 months, to ensure consistency with the child’s case plan and review processes. The review of the placement agreement may occur before, during, or after a family group meeting  or review of the child’s case plan. (Refer to Procedure 5 Case planning.)

Note

When a child is placed in care with the authority of a care agreement, there are additional requirements for commencing the care arrangement. Refer to Procedure 4 Use a child protection care agreement.

Complete actions to start carer payments

When a child is placed in care with an approved foster or kinship carer or a provisionally approved carer, do the following to start carer payments, such as fortnightly caring allowance:

  • For a child being placed in care with an approved carer, complete a placement event in ICMS for the carer, including the start date of the care arrangement.
  • If a child's care arrangement is ending with an approved carer, complete the end date of the placement in the placement event in ICMS.
  • If a child is moving from one care arrangement to another, complete the end date for the care arrangement the child is leaving and commence the start date for the new care arrangement. This will ensure that the carers receive their allowance in a timely manner and are not incurring overpayments.
  • Enter relevant allowance details into Carepay and submit the task for approval.

Record information about the care arrangement

Attach a copy of all care agreement information not already recorded in ICMS to the relevant event in ICMS, for example:

  • the Conclusion of care arrangement form
  • the Child information form.

Maintain contact with the child and carer during the care arrangement

For the duration of the care arrangement, maintain regular contact with the child in their care environment to:

  • ensure their needs are met and the quality of care provided is consistent with legislative and policy requirements
  • support the child and the carer in enhancing the stability of the care arrangement
  • support the carer in responding to the child's changing needs
  • assess and monitor if intervention strategies are achieving positive outcomes for the child and their family, in line with the case plan goal.

Further reading

Practice kit Care arrangements.

Consider a referral to the Child Safety after hours service centre

Make a referral to the CSAHSC if after hours support is required:

  • to ensure practice standards  are met
  • due to concerns for a child’s safety and wellbeing outside business hours.

To refer a matter to the CSAHSC:

  • Complete the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre: After hours referral form, including:
    •  current information about the child, carer or family for whom contact outside business hours is likely
    • clear instructions and the rationale for any requested action
    • planned actions for responding to the situation.  
  • Obtain senior team leader approval for the information provided and any requested action.
  • Create a Referral case note, titled ‘After hours referral’, in the relevant event in ICMS, and:
    • paste the referral form into the case note
    • attach any supporting information and documentation. For example, if a new care arrangement is likely to be needed, include:
      • suitable care arrangement options
      • detailed information about attempts the CSSC or PSU have already made to identify a care arrangement for the child
      • details of any approval or escalation process commenced for a care arrangement out of the CSSC’s region or with another entity under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 82(1)(f). (Refer to Place a child with another entity).
  • The senior team leader will phone the CSAHSC senior team leader to: 
    • advise them of the referral, including the ICMS event number and client names
    • negotiate the specific action to be undertaken by the CSAHSC.

Consider a referral to the foster and kinship care support line

If a carer is likely to require after hours support to meet the needs of a child in their care, consider making a referral to the foster and kinship care support line.

An approved foster or kinship carer or provisionally approved carer can access support after hours by calling the foster and kinship care support line on 1300 729 309, Monday to Friday 5.00pm–11.30pm and on weekends 7.00am–11.30pm. 

Relevant circumstances include support for a carer who has:

  • a child or sibling group newly placed
  • a child with complex needs due to their behaviour or other special needs
  • a child with high support needs due to a specific event or issue
  • been provisionally approved or newly approved as a kinship carer.

To refer, complete the Foster and kinship care support line referral form from the carer entity Monitor and Support screen in ICMS.

Note

The foster and kinship care support line is operated by Child Safety staff. They will:

  • record information about their contact with a carer in ICMS  in the relevant event for the child and/or carer
  • advise the CSSC and PSU  of their contact by the next business day.

Conclude the child’s care arrangement

The conclusion of a child’s care arrangement, wherever possible, should:

  • be a planned event
  • happen in a way that maximises support for the child in their transition to: 
    • home
      or
    • a new care arrangement
      or
    • to independent living
  • be in line with the child’s case plan.

For information about the roles and responsibilities of the CSSC and PSU at the conclusion of a child’s care arrangement, refer to the checklist Conclude a care arrangement.

Plan for a care arrangement to end

Planning for a child to leave a care arrangement occurs within the broader context of case planning and review. (Refer to Procedure 5 Case planning.)

To support a child to leave their care arrangement:  

  • Review the case plan goals achieved during the care arrangement with the child and family.
  • Discuss and decide on the support the carer and CSO will provide to the child during the transition.
  • Talk to the child and carer about how and when the child will leave the care arrangement.
  • Make sure the child will have all their personal belongings with them when they leave.
  • Make sure the child’s views and wishes are included in the planning.
  • Prepare the child for the move.  
  • Encourage the child’s safety and support network and the carer’s support worker to be involved in the planning, wherever possible.  
  • Arrange a time for the child, carer and household members to say goodbye to each other.
  • Arrange a time for the child to say goodbye to school friends and staff, if they are also needing to change schools.
  • Decide the level of ongoing involvement the carer will have with the child, if an ongoing relationship with the carer is important for the child’s emotional wellbeing.

Manage an unplanned end to a care arrangement

It is not always possible to plan for a child’s care arrangement to end. An urgent move may be required:

  • to ensure the child’s immediate safety and wellbeing
  • when an approved foster and kinship carer’s blue card or exemption card has expired
  • due to the level of the child’s support needs
  • when an approved carer, licensed care service or another entity requests an immediate end to the care arrangement, in response to a crisis situation that could not be resolved.

Child decides to leave

If a child unexpectedly leaves their care arrangement and self-places to their parents’ home, carry out a safety assessment. (Refer to Procedure 2 Carry out a safety assessment.) If the outcome of the safety assessment is unsafe, the child must be immediately removed to a care arrangement.

If the child refuses to return to their care arrangement:

  • Talk with the child about moving to an alternative care arrangement.
  • Discuss other options with the child and the child’s parents.
  • Consult with relevant agencies about safe, culturally appropriate care arrangement options, if the child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.
  • Explore whether the child has any kin who can be provisionally approved to care for the child.

If the child self-places with a family member or family friend, discuss with the person whether they would like to apply to be a carer for the child. (Refer to Respond to a prospective kinship carer.) If so, complete an assessment of the person as a kinship carer. In the interim, while the assessment is being undertaken, the child can only remain living with the person if the person is granted provisional approval as a carer. Refer to Consider the assessment for approval of a carer applicant,

Continuation of custody not granted by the court

If a care arrangement needs to end because an application for custody or guardianship of the child has not been successful (that is, the Childrens Court has not granted a subsequent child protection order or has revoked an order) the court may consider granting a transition order. This allows:

  • an existing child protection order to continue for up to 28 days
  • the child to more gradually transition from their care arrangement to their parents’ full-time care.

Practice prompt

If the child has been the victim of an act of violence, give information about the process for applying for support and assistance from Victim Assist Queensland to the child, or as relevant, to their parent, carer or guardian. (Refer to Procedure 5 Victims of crime.)

Respond to a child’s request to leave a care arrangement

Attention

When a child asks to leave a care arrangement, attempt to resolve the issues leading to the request, unless the move is necessary for the child’s immediate safety or wellbeing.

To work towards resolving the issues, as soon as possible after the child asks to leave their care arrangement:

  • Meet with the child to:  
    • talk to them about the reasons for their request
    • give them an opportunity to talk about how they feel
    • gather all relevant information and talk through any worries they have, to:  
      • ensure their need for safety, belonging and wellbeing is met
      • identify strategies to resolve the worries and maintain the child’s care arrangement. 
  • Seek the views of all relevant parties, including the child’s safety and support network, their parents, and the carer or care service, if applicable, to identify strategies for resolving the issues and maintaining the care arrangement.
  • Decide if a review of the child’s case plan is necessary.

If it appears likely that the care arrangement for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child will end, arrange, with the consent of the child and family, for an independent person to facilitate their participation in the decision about where and with whom the child will live. (Refer to Procedure 5 Decision making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.)

Respond to a young person’s request to live independently

If a young person advises that they want to leave their care arrangement to live independently, consult with the senior team leader and CSSC manager to consider:

  • the young person’s age and maturity
  • the young person’s ability to make decisions about their own safety, wellbeing and self-development
  • the young person’s capacity to live independently
  • the availability of licensed supported independent living services 
  • the young person’s case plan, including details of transition to adulthood goals achieved to date (Refer to Procedure 5 Support a young person's transition to adulthood)
  • the Department of Education’s compulsory education and training requirements. (Refer to Procedure 5 Make sure compulsory education and training requirements are met)
  • the young person’s eligibility for Australian Government benefits. (Refer to the Centrelink website)
  • the views of all relevant parties, including the young person’s parents and safety and support network
  • whether to review the young person’s case plan, to include services and supports to prepare and assist the young person to make the transition to independent living.

Practice prompt

If the request is made by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young person, arrange, with the consent of the young person and their family, for an independent person to help facilitate their participation in the decision about where and with whom they will live. (Refer to Procedure 5 Decision making for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.)

Respond to a carer’s request to end a care arrangement

If a carer asks to end a child’s care arrangement before the date recorded in the placement agreement,  attempt to resolve the carer’s worries and maintain the arrangement, unless the move is considered necessary for the child’s immediate safety or wellbeing.

In response to the request, convene a meeting as soon as possible with:

  • the child, if appropriate
  • the carer
  • a senior team leader
  • a PSU staff member
  • foster and kinship care staff or staff of a licensed care service or another entity
  • the CSSC manager, if necessary.

At the meeting, discuss and identify solutions to the following:

  • any worries identified by the carer and the child
  • stressors in the care arrangement
  • any support, training or resources that may help to maintain the care arrangement, for example, short break options, or additional support funded through child-related costs to reduce the stressors experienced by the carer
  • safety issues associated with the care arrangement, including the impact on or risk to other children in the care arrangement and the carer’s family.

If it is agreed the child’s care arrangement will continue, consider:

Remove a child from a care arrangement

A CSSC manager, regional director or CSAHSC manager or senior team leader may decide to remove a child from a care arrangement:

  • if satisfied it is in the child’s best interests
  • in response to concerns about the standards of care being provided to a child
  • due to harm to a child, including risk of harm 
  • to ensure the child’s immediate safety and wellbeing. 

Removing a child from the care arrangement may be assessed to be in the child’s best interests if there is a serious issue, for example:

  • an issue in relation to the standards of care being provided by the carer
  • a safety issue for the child
  • conflict between a child and their carer.

In responding to concerns about a child’s safety, the purpose is to ensure continuity of the child’s relationship with the carer or care service and the stability of the child’s care arrangement, as far as possible, unless:

  • the child is at immediate risk of harm or unacceptable risk of future harm in the care environment
    and
  • protective intervention will not adequately ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing in the care environment.

Practice prompt

As far as possible, a child is to be removed from a care arrangement in a way that is the least traumatic or disruptive for the child.

Before making a decision about removing a child from a care arrangement, the CSSC manager will consult the senior practitioner (if doing so will not jeopardise the immediate safety or wellbeing of the child), having already taking into consideration the views of:

  • the child, if age and developmentally appropriate
  • the carer or the care service coordinator or manager, if applicable
  • the foster and kinship care service or care service, if applicable.

Attention

The decision to remove the child from a carer’s care is a reviewable decision under the Child Protection Act 1999, schedule 2.

If the child is subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive:

The Child Protection Act 1999, sections 90 and 91, does not give parents or staff members of care services the right to seek a review of the decision by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

If a parent, carer or staff member disagrees with a decision by Child Safety to remove a child, inform them of the review mechanisms available. (Refer to Compliments and Complaints feedback.)

Remove a child in urgent circumstances

If the CSSC manager decides that the child’s immediate safety and wellbeing needs require them to be removed from the care arrangement, before there is time to seek or have regard to relevant people’s views about the decision:

  • Record the decision and the rationale for the decision in the relevant event in ICMS.
  • Explain the rationale for the decision to all the people affected by the decision.
  • Carry out all information provision and administrative requirements, in line with the Child Protection Act 1999, section 90. (Refer to Complete end of care arrangement requirements.)

Give information to the child, parents and the carer when the care arrangement ends

When a decision is made to end a care arrangement, regardless of whether it is planned or unplanned:

  • Tell the child, their parents, the carer and service, if applicable, of the decision and the reasons for the decision.
  • Give the child, their parents and the carer information about accessing the Child Safety complaints process, should they wish to have the decision reviewed.
  • Give the child written notice of the removal decision, including reasons for the decision, and tell them they have 28 days to seek a QCAT review of the removal decision.
  • Give the child and their family information about the new care arrangement and further planned actions, unless a decision has been made to withhold all or some care arrangement information from the parents. (Refer to Assess if parents pose a risk to the child).
  • Contact the child’s school and any other agency undertaking case work services with the child and family to: 
    • advise them of the care arrangement change  
    • provide updated care arrangement details.

Implement actions relating to the carer

When a child leaves a care arrangement, tell the child’s carer:

  • that the fortnightly caring allowance for the child will cease
  • of their responsibility to advise Centrelink of the conclusion of the child’s care arrangement
  • of the need for them to complete a Conclusion of care arrangement form.

Organise to meet the carer to collect all the child’s personal belongings and relevant documents, including the:

  • completed Conclusion of care arrangement form
  • child’s birth certificate
  • child’s Medicare card and health care card 
  • child health passport folder 
  • child’s school reports
  • bank account details and associated documentation, including the child’s key card, if this is held by the carer.

After the care arrangement has ended, contact the carer to discuss the outcomes of the care arrangement including:

  • identified strengths demonstrated in managing the care arrangement
  • learning and support needs for future care arrangements.

Practice prompt

If relevant, vary the foster carer agreement, based on the experience the carer has gained from the care arrangement.

Removal of a child―the carer’s right of review

A carer, other than a provisionally approved carer, is entitled to seek a review by QCAT of a decision to remove a child from their care (Child Protection Act 1999, section 91).

If the child is subject to a child protection order granting long-term guardianship to the chief executive, the carer has the right to seek a review of the decision to remove the child from their care, regardless of the reason for the removal.

If a child is subject to a child protection order granting short-term custody or guardianship to the chief executive, the carer has the right to seek a review of the decision to remove the child from their care, if the stated reason for the decision is that:

  • they are no longer a suitable person to have the care of the child 
    or
  • they are no longer able to meet the statement of standards.

Practice prompt

If applicable, give the carer the Letter to carer―removal of a child (section 89).

Complete end of care arrangement requirements

As soon as possible after the care arrangement ends, complete or update the following forms and place them on the child’s and/or carer's file:

  • the Child information form in ICMS
  • the child’s care arrangement details (on their paper file)
  • Child Safety After Hours service Centre: After hours referral form, if relevant
  • the Conclusion of care arrangement form, completed by the carer. Place the original on the child’s file and give a copy to the new carer or to the parents if the child has returned home
  • the foster carer agreement, if required
  • the Letter to Medicare―change of address (Refer to Procedure 5 Obtain Medicare details and
    Arrange for a health care card)
  • the child and carer details in ICMS, including the end date of the care arrangement (to cease carer payments and close the placement event)
  • the Independent person form in ICMS, to record whether an independent person helped the child and family participate in a decision about where and with whom an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child will live.

Further reading

For additional requirements when ending a care arrangement for a child, refer to Procedure 4 Use a child protection care agreement

Version history

Back to top

Published on:

Last reviewed:

  • Date: 
    'Support a care arrangement' is a new key step to improve accessibility and navigation. This content was previously in the key step 'Place a child in care'.
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Addition of new practice prompt and link to new practice guide Children with gender and sexual and gender diversity.
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Additional information on placing a child with another entity under section 82(1)(f) of the Act, to introduce the new assessment form and guide.
  • Date: 
    Maintenance -New paragraph added under 'Respond to a child's request to leave a care arrangement' referring to independent person involvement.
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance - fixed links
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance.
  • Date: 
    Updating link
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance.
  • Date: 
    Added information to consider the immunisation status of the carer family prior to placing a child.
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Maintenance
  • Date: 
    Links updated
  • Date: 
    Page created
  • Date: 
    Page created
  • Date: 
    Insertion of an image onto the page.
  • Date: 
    Page created
  • Date: 
    Page created
  • Date: 
    Page created