How can Queensland organisations respond to the Blue Card Review?
On 21 September 2016, a review of the Blue Card system, the approval and monitoring of foster and kinship carers and pressure points on service delivery of Child Safety was ordered by the Premier of Queensland. On 7 September 2017, the Queensland Family and Child Commission released the Review of the Blue Card System report which made 81 recommendations. The recommendations are designed to strengthen the blue card system, build the capacity of and support for organisations, and, create a safe environment for children to participate in activities that help them grow, learn and develop.
While we wait for the Queensland Government to release more detail on how these 81 recommendations are being implemented proactive organisations will be asking themselves, "What can we do now, in response to this information, to ensure we are protecting our children?"
Although many of the 81 recommendations relate to changes to how the Blue Card System is operated and managed, some recommendations relate to creating child safe environments. In fact, the report highlights that, "over-reliance on the WWCC may create risks for children, as parents and carers may assume their children are safe when left with people holding blue cards" (Queensland Family and Child Commission, 2017, p6). The good news on this point is that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a significant amount of research on creating child safe organisations so there are plenty of things proactive organisations are able to do now, using the recommendations of this review, to be ready for when changes are legislated - and it seems incredibly likely that Queensland will make legislative changes around child safe environments!
If you or your organisation want to get a head start on implementing child safe strategies or need help to review your child protection and child safe policies and procedures then you should contact Poynting Consulting & Advisory to see how we can help you to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep children safe.