About the blue card system
The blue card system:
- is a key prevention and monitoring system of people working with children and young people in Queensland
- aims to minimise the risks of harm to children and young people by contributing to the creation of safe and supportive environments, and
- is founded on the principle that all children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm.
- the past is risk managed though the initial assessment, which determines a person’s eligibility to work with children, based on known police or disciplinary information
- the present is risk managed through police information of all blue card or exemption card holders, which is continuously monitored so any changes are actioned appropriately, and
- the future is risk managed by service providers, who are required to implement child and youth risk management strategies and review them annually.
The purpose of the blue card system is to contribute to the creation of safe and supportive environments for children and young people when receiving services and participating in activities which are essential to their development and wellbeing, such as child care, education, sport, and cultural activities.
While many people are familiar with the blue card itself, it is important to be aware that the initial blue card screening is only the first component of a three part system which considers past, present, and future risks:
- Blue card screening to determine a person's eligibility to work with children and young people based on their known past behaviour
- Ongoing monitoring of all blue card holders and applicants which enables action to be taken to protect children and young people if the person is charged with a concerning offence, and
- Mitigating future risk through the requirement for organisations providing child related services to develop and implement child and youth risk management strategies.
Blue card screening
This assesses a person’s eligibility to hold a blue card or exemption card based on their known past police and disciplinary information. This process also disqualifies certain people upfront and prevents people from working with children whose past behaviour indicates they are not eligible to enter regulated child-related employment.
The police information of all card holders and applicants is monitored. If the information changes, immediate steps can be taken to protect children from harm. Service providers and card holders are also monitored to ensure they are meeting their blue card system obligations and providing safe environments for children.
Child and youth risk management strategies
Organisations who provide child-related services must have policies and procedures in place to identify and minimise the risk of harm to children. These risk management strategies are monitored and must be reviewed annually.
What is the Working with Children Check?
The Working with Children Check (also known as the blue card check) is a check that assesses:
- any national charge or conviction (including spent convictions and pending and non-conviction charges) for an offence (even if no conviction was recorded)
- child protection prohibition orders (whether a person is a respondent or subject to an application)
- disqualification orders
- if a person is subject to reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004 or Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003
- disciplinary information held by certain professional organisations including teachers, child care licensees and foster carers, and
- information that the Police Commissioner may provide in relation to police investigations into allegations of serious child-related sexual offences, even if no charges were laid.
A person whose application is approved is issued with a positive notice letter and a blue card.
If a person’s application is refused, they are issued with a negative notice which prohibits them from carrying on a business or providing regulated child-related activities.
If you are a registered teacher or police officer in Queensland, you do not apply for a blue card and should instead apply for an exemption card when providing regulated services to children which are outside of your professional duties.
Safe environments don’t just happen, they require ongoing planning, commitment and maintenance. Organisations falling within the scope of the blue card system are required to implement child and youth risk management strategies which address eight minimum requirements. The purpose of these strategies is to ensure that organisations have appropriate policies and procedures in place which assist in identifying and minimising the risk of harm to children and young people in regulated service environments.
Read more about Child and youth risk management strategies.
Last Updated: 27 September, 2016