Amendments introduced in QLD to strengthen Blue Card laws
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > Amendments introduced in QLD to strengthen Blue Card laws

Amendments introduced in QLD to strengthen Blue Card laws

by Freya Lucas

June 14, 2024

Reforms have been introduced to the Queensland Parliament to update working with children laws and support the operation of the blue card system


The reforms in the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 aim to simplify and improve blue card requirements, and strengthen eligibility assessments to work with children, affording better protection to children. 


The proposed amendments are in response to recommendations from the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC), the former Legal Affairs and Safety Committee, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.


The Bill will also implement the first stage of the Government’s response to the QFCC report A thematic analysis of provisionally approved kinship carers who receive a subsequent blue card negative notice by removing the blue card requirement for kinship carers.


This will mean more children are able to be cared for by their families, supporting their connection to family, kin, community and culture.


The changed approach is particularly important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, who continue to be disproportionately represented in the child protection system.


A new fit-for-purpose screening framework will be developed to screen kinship carers to care for kin.


“Our State’s blue card system is one of the strongest and most long standing in the nation, and we certainly won’t shy away from further improving its capabilities to protect our children,”  Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath said.


“Our goal is to provide robust and responsive protective measures, and a fair and thorough assessment for all blue card applicants. We want to make sure Queensland’s child protection system continues to operate to the highest standards.”


The blue card system regulates activities which are essential to children’s lives such as early childhood education and care (ECEC), disability support, sport and recreation, cultural activities and education more broadly by checking and monitoring those who work and volunteer in these activities.


The Amendment Bill expands who is required to hold a blue card, including people who deliver party, entertainment, beauty and photography services directed at children.


The proposed legislative amendments would implement a new fit-for-purpose decision-making framework that is more consistent with other jurisdictions. The new framework adopts nationally agreed criteria, which must be considered when a person returns information of concern. 


As part of its decision making, Blue Card Services, within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, will be able to seek specialist knowledge and advice to assist in deciding a blue card application.


New powers have also been included to enable the suspension of a person’s card where there would be a risk to the safety of children if the person was allowed to continue to work during reassessment.


Further information about Queensland’s Working with Children Check system and legislation can be found here.

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button