Blue cards and exemption cards for foster or kinship carers

Blue Card Services administers the blue card system—Queensland's Working with Children Check.

Blue and exemption cards are issued by Blue Card Services and indicate a person is eligible to work with children and young people in Queensland.

To determine a person's eligibility to hold a blue or exemption card, Blue Card Services conducts a blue card check, also known as a Working with Children Check.

On this page:

Who needs a blue card or exemption card?

All foster and kinship carers and adult household members over 18 are legally required to hold a blue or exemption card to reside in the home.

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

To apply for a blue or exemption card, you can apply online using the online applicant portal or using the paper form.

Regardless of which method you choose to apply, you will need a Customer Reference Number (CRN) from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) before you apply for your blue or exemption card to prove your identity. You can find your CRN on any TMR product.

Find more information about applying, including when you cannot attend a TMR customer service centre.

Paper based applications

To apply using the paper application, download and complete the Volunteer foster/kinship carer or adult member blue/exemption card application form (PDF).
Once you have completed the form, it can be sent via:

Verifying with Child Safety

If you choose to apply online using the online applicant portal—after registering for an online account and verifying your identity through TMR—you will be provided with an online account number. You must provide this number to Child Safety for your blue or exemption card to be linked to the Child Safety organisation.

The linking of your blue or exemption card to Child Safety ensures there is no fee for your blue card application.

Blue Card Services will let you know via text message or email when you have been successfully linked to Child Safety so you can complete and submit your online application for the blue or exemption card.

Linking an existing blue card to Child Safety

Existing card holders who intend to provide care with Child Safety must provide their blue or exemption card number to Child Safety. Blue Card Services will advise card holders via text message or email once they have been successfully linked to Child Safety.

Renewing a blue card

Blue and exemption cards are valid for 3 years unless cancelled or suspended and can be renewed every 3 years.

Providing you renew your blue or exemption card before your current card expires, you can continue to provide care. If you do not renew your blue or exemption card before it expires, you will be subject to No Card, No Start and cannot continue providing care. 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.

Read more information about renewing your blue card.

Change in police information

If someone residing within the home, where care is provided, has had a change in police information, the person who had this change must advise their Child Safety Service Centre (CSSC) and complete a Change in police information notification to Blue Card Services.

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

Refusal for a blue card or exemption card

If you are refused a blue 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 or exemption card if you:

  • have been issued with a negative notice
  • have a suspended blue card
  • are a disqualified person
  • have been charged with a disqualifying offence that has not been finalised
  • is the subject of an adverse interstate Working with Children Check decision that is in effect.

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 or exemption card, you should talk to a CSO.

Find out more