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Blue cards and exemption cards for foster or kinship carers

A blue card (or exemption card) is a card issued by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Blue Card Services) and indicates that a person is eligible to work with children and young people in Queensland.

All foster and kinship carers and their adult household members (over 18) are legally required to hold a blue card or exemption card.

To determine a person's eligibility to hold a blue card, Blue Card Services conducts a 'Working with children check'. This is a detailed national check of a person's criminal history, including any charges or convictions, as well as any disciplinary information held by certain professional organisations. It also includes police investigation information into allegations of serious child-related sexual offences.

Blue cards are valid for three years. Exemption cards for police officers and registered teachers do not expire.

Who needs a blue card or exemption card?

All adult members who live in your household will need to apply for and receive a blue card or exemption card before you can be approved as a carer.

Even if you are an approved carer with a blue card, all adult members (over 18) of your household need to have a blue card or exemption card.

Regular visitors to your home may be required to obtain a blue card depending on the type of contact they will have with children and the regularity of the visits. This will be determined by rules contained in the Child Protection Act 1999 as well as Child Safety practice. You should talk to your Child Safety Officer (CSO) about any regular visitors to your household to determine if they also require a blue card or exemption card.

How to apply

Blue card and exemption card applications are part of the process of becoming a foster or kinship carer.

Your CSO or foster and kinship care service will provide you and the other adult members of your household with blue card or exemption card application forms as part of the process of becoming a foster or kinship carer.

If you are already a foster or kinship carer, refer to the section below for information on renewing your blue card.

To apply for a blue card or exemption card, you must:

  • go to a Child Safety Service Centre (CSSC)
  • bring two forms of identification that, together, show your:
    - full name
    - date of birth
    - signature
  • complete a blue card application form.  

If you live in a remote area

If you live more than 50km from your CSSC, or have a disability affecting your mobility, you can mail your form to a CSSC.

To complete your application you will need to download the following 2 forms:

Please note the same form is used for new or renewal blue card or exemption card applications.

In relation to the Volunteer foster/kinship carer or adult member blue/exemption card application form, you will need to:

  • complete Parts A, D and E of the form
  • take the form to an authorised person along with all the required identification documents stated in Part E of the form.

In relation to the Confirmation of identity form, you will need to:

  • complete Part A of the form
  • take the form to an authorised person (with your identification documents from above) to complete Parts B and C of the form.

You must then send both forms to your CSSC along with photocopies of the required identification documents.

If you cannot satisfy the identification requirements, you can apply for consideration for alternative identification.

Authorising a blue card

If you have a blue card for other purposes and need it to be validated by Child Safety, you will need to complete an authorisation form so your connection with Child Safety can be recorded by Blue Card Services.

To get your blue card authorised:

Who is an authorised person

An authorised person is:

  • a Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services officer
    OR
  • if you live 50km or more from your CSSC or have a disability affecting your mobility, a:
    - justice of the peace
    - commissioner for declarations
    - lawyer
    - police officer.

Renewing a blue card that has expired or is about to expire

If you are an existing blue card holder, you must submit your application to renew your card 2 months prior to your card's expiry date.

To renew your blue card, you must:

  • go to a CSSC
  • bring two forms of identification that together show your
    - full name
    - date of birth
    - signature
  • complete a blue card renewal form.

If you cannot satisfy the identification requirements, you can apply for consideration for alternative identification.

Providing alternative identification

If you cannot provide identification as requested on the application or renewal forms you can:

  • contact Blue Card Services on 1800 133 611 (freecall within Queensland - calls from mobile phones may attract charges) or (07) 3211 6999
    OR
  • complete an alternative identification request (for blue cards).

To submit an alternative identification request:

  • download the form Request to consider alternative identification
  • complete Parts A, C and D of the form.
  • take the form to an authorised person to sight the identification documents and to complete Parts B and E of the form
  • attach the form to the blue card application or renewal form before returning it to your CSSC.

Find out more about How to meet identification requirements to apply for a blue card.

Change in police information

If you or an adult household member of your approved or proposed carer household has a change in police information, you or the adult household member must advise your CSSC by completing and submitting a Change in police information notification form.

A change in police information occurs if a cardholder or blue card applicant is charged with or convicted of an offence, or acquires a criminal history.

To notify your CSSC of a change in police information:

Further information about changes in police information is available by contacting Blue Card Services on (07) 3211 6999 or 1800 113 611.

Refusal for a blue card or exemption card

If you are refused a blue card or exemption card, you will be informed of your rights to have the decision reviewed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. In some circumstances, depending on the nature of the offence that has resulted in the refusal of the blue card or exemption card, applicants will not have a right of review.

Certain people are disqualified from applying for a blue card. You will be disqualified from applying for, or renewing a blue card or exemption card if:

  • you have been convicted of a disqualifying offence (including a child-related sex or pornography offence, or the murder of a child)
  • you are a reportable offender with current reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004
  • you are subject to a child protection offender prohibition order
  • you are subject to a disqualification order prohibiting you from applying for or holding a blue card.

Find out more about who is disqualified from applying for a blue card.

If your application is refused, and a review by the tribunal is unsuccessful, you will be unable to be approved as a carer by Child Safety.

If an adult member of your household is unable to obtain a blue card or exemption card, you should talk to a CSO.

Find out more

For more information about applying to become a foster or kinship carer and the blue card or exemption card requirements, contact your local Child Safety Service Centre.

For general information about the blue card and exemption card, or to discuss your criminal history or application, contact Blue Card Services.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
24 November 2016
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