Parents & communities
Welcome to the parents and communities section, where you can find information about how the blue card system works and other helpful information.
- How does the blue card system help to protect children from harm?
- Choosing a child-safe environment - what you can do
- What you should do if you have any concerns or a suspicion of harm
Most people are now familiar with the blue card check and how this can help contribute to the safety and wellbeing of children in Queensland. What you may not realise, however, is that the blue card check is only one component of a larger system which contributes to the creation and promotion of safe and child-friendly services and environments for your children.
In Queensland, organisations that provide services to, or conduct activities mainly involving children are required by law to have a risk management strategy in place that helps to reduce the likelihood of any risk or harm to children.
Organisations need to actively contribute to your child's safety by having policies and procedures in place to address:
- How they recruit and train the right people to work with your child
- What is appropriate behaviour and what is expected of all volunteers and staff when they are with your child
- How they deal with inappropriate behaviour by staff
- What they will do when responding to suspicions or disclosures of harm
- How they will manage special events or activities that might require extra care and thought, and
- How will they communicate these policies to you, the parent.
As a parent you will make many choices and decisions about the best interests of your children.
When choosing someone or an organisation to provide services to your children, don't be afraid to ask 'What are you going to do to keep my child safe?' A good response should prove to you that the above requirements have been addressed and they should be able to provide you with evidence that these policies and procedures are being implemented.
Organisations should be willing to discuss this with you and should welcome your interest in it.
As a parent you may also want to:
- Observe - spend time watching your child when they are receiving services and see how the staff interact with your children.
- Do your research - ask questions about the organisation's risk management strategy and check with other parents for their feedback and opinions.
- Get involved - if there is an opportunity to do so, maybe you can volunteer or spend some time helping out at the organisation.
- Listen to your children and ask questions.
- Educate your children about feeling safe - teach them what they can do if they don't feel safe or comfortable.
- Speak up! Don't be afraid to ask questions or talk to the organisation if you have any concerns or problems.
If you have any concerns or suspicions of harm, it is important to remember that there are people you can speak with.
- If you suspect or know that a child is in immediate danger, please contact the police on 000 to report the matter.
- If you are concerned or uncertain about a situation occurring at an organisation working with children, you can:
- discuss your concerns with the organisation directly, or
- speak with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services - Child Safety Services.
It is important to remember that you cannot get in trouble for voicing a concern or suspicion and if you are unsure of what to do, you can speak with someone from your local police station, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services or at Blue Card Services who will direct your call and give you some guidance.
Play by the Rules is a unique collaboration between the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association and government agencies from all states and territories.
The Play by the Rules website provides information and online learning for community sport and recreation on how to:
- prevent and deal with discrimination, harassment and child abuse, and
- develop inclusive and welcoming environments for participation.
Visit the Play by the Rules website.
Last Updated: 30 June, 2014