Queensland Family and Child Commission review expanded

Published Wednesday, 21 September, 2016 at 02:08 PM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

The Queensland Family and Child Commission’s review into information sharing between government agencies and non-government organisations, following the death of Tiahleigh Palmer, will be extended to include the assessment and approval processes for foster carers.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon was undertaking a review following her earlier inquiry into Tiahleigh’s disappearance and death. The Commission’s “When a child is missing”* report was released on 11 July.

“The death of any child is a tragedy and the allegations relating to the death of Tiahleigh Palmer are abhorrent.  The allegations remain subject to a police investigation and court proceedings,” the Minister said.

The Commissioner will also undertake the planned review of Blue Card Services with the transfer of responsibility for Blue Card Services from the Public Safety Business Agency to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General from 1 October.

Ms Fentiman, who met with stakeholders and Commissioner Vardon, said the Commissioner will follow on from the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I want to reassure Queenslanders that while we have strict approval processes in place for foster carers and Blue Card holders, we will do everything we can to strengthen and improve the systems,” the Minister said.

Ms Fentiman said there is already significant work under way as a result of this tragic case.

“All relevant agencies have cooperated fully with the ongoing police investigation and the top priority now is getting justice for Tiahleigh,” she said.

The information-sharing component Commission’s review is due to report back to the Government next month. The wider examination of foster carer and Blue Card applications will report early next year. 

The review of information sharing between agencies was recommended (#28) of the Commission’s “When a child is missing” report.

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