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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 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 or exemption 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.

All blue cards and exemption cards are valid for 3 years.

On this page:

Who needs a blue card or exemption card?

All foster and kinship carers and their adult household members (over 18) are legally required to hold 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 can be completed online using the online applicant portal and will require a confirmation of identity through the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

TMR will verify your identity and provide the photo for your blue card or exemption card.

In order to verify your information through TMR you will require your customer reference number (CRN), and a photo from TMR before you can complete your blue card or exemption card application. For most people this will be the number and photo on your driver’s license, photo identity card or marine licence.

If you don’t have a CRN you will need to visit a TMR Customer Service Centre to prove your identity. There is no fee for the CRN or the photo. If you are unable to visit a TMR service centre, please contact Blue Card Services to help you find the best way to obtain CRN via:

  • telephone: 1800 113 611 or (07) 3211 6999

or

If you are successful in verifying your identity through TMR you will be provided with an account number which will need to be provided to Child Safety in order for your blue card or exemption card to be linked to the Child Safety organisation. The linking of your blue card or exemption card to Child Safety ensures you are not incurring the cost for your blue card or exemption card application.

Blue Card Services will advise you via text message or email when your account number has been successfully linked to Child Safety so that you can complete and submit your blue card or exemption card application online.

Paper based applications

Paper based applications will still be accepted by Blue Card Services should this be a preferable for you. The below form can be downloaded and completed offline.

The process of confirming your identity will remain the same as the process identified in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Once you have completed the form it can be sent via email or post to the following location:

or

  • Post: PO Box 13126, George Street, Brisbane QLD 4003

Linking an existing blue card to Child Safety

If you already hold a current blue card or an exemption card with another organisation, in order to be linked with Child Safety you will need to provide your blue card or exemption card number.

Blue Card Services will advise you via text message or email to confirm that your blue card or exemption card has been successfully linked to Child Safety.

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

Blue card and exemption cards are to be renewed every 3 years and providing you renew your blue card or exemption card before your current card expires you can continue to provide care. There is no set time frame for when your card is required to be renewed only that you submit your renewal application before the expiry date of your current card.

If your blue card or exemption card expires before you submit your renewal application you will be subject to the No Card No Start laws and will be unable to continue to provide care. You will be required to begin the blue card or exemption card application process from the beginning, starting with the verification of identification process through TMR. Any children or young people placed in your care will require a new care arrangement until you receive your new blue card or exemption card approval.

Providing alternative identification

If you are unable to obtain a CRN or visit a TMR service centre to obtain a CRN contact Blue Card Services via:

  • phone 1800 113 611 (free call within Queensland - calls from mobile phones may attract charges) or (07) 3211 6999,

or

  • email: info@bluecard.qld.gov.au.

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 and are referred to as a restricted person. You will be disqualified from applying for, or renewing a blue card or exemption card if you:

If your application is refused, and a review by the tribunal is unsuccessful, you will not 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.

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