Blue cards and exemption cards for foster or kinship carers – No Card No Start
A blue card or exemption card is part of the Queensland Government's Working With Children Check system designed to contribute to the creation of safe and supportive environments for children when receiving services or participating in activities. It is managed by Blue Card Services.
Blue card screening assesses a person's eligibility to hold a blue card based on their known past police and disciplinary information. This involves a detailed national check of a person's criminal history (including all spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges) and other disciplinary information.
The police information of all card holders and applicants continues to be monitored to ensure they are meeting their blue card system obligations and providing safe environments for children.
Who needs a blue card?
If you are a provisionally approved carer you will need to apply for your blue card or exemption card application at the time of applying to be a foster or kinship carer. All adult household members of a provisionally approved applicant, if they don 't already hold a valid blue card or exemption card, are required to apply and obtain a blue card approval prior to the provisional approval expiring.
Please refer to the FAQ No Card No Start for Carers for more information.
An exemption card only applies to registered teachers or police officers who intend to or who are providing services to children which are outside of their professional duties.
For as long as you remain an approved carer, you will need to renew your blue card every 3 years.
If you are a child's guardian under a child protection order, and you no longer provide or intend to provide care to other children who are in the custody or guardianship of Child Safety, then you (and adult household members) are no longer required to hold a blue card or exemption card.
If you are a kinship carer and the parent of the child in your care is sharing your home with you, the child's parent does not require a blue card.
Young people who have previously been a child in care and who are turning 18 and will continue to reside in your household are able to apply for a blue card 3 months prior to turning 18.
Applying for a blue card
Blue card or exemption cards can be applied for through the online applicant portal which will mean a faster approval time for most applicants.
Verification of identity
The initial process in applying for a blue card or exemption card requires you to complete a verification of identity with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) through the online applicant portal. In order to complete the verification of identity you will need to provide your customer reference number (CRN) and photo from TMR, for most applicants 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, the easiest and fastest way to get one is to visit a TMR Customer Service Centre. You will need to prove your identity. There is no fee for the CRN or the photo.
If you can't get to a TMR service centre, Blue Card Services can help you find the best way to get a CRN, you can contact them on either of the below options:
- Phone us on 1800 113 611 or (07) 3211 6999
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue card and exemption card application process
Once you have been able to verify your identity, TMR will provide you with an account number. This number will need to be provided to Child Safety as part of your carer application. The account number will be required for Child Safety, Central Screening Unit (CSU) to link your blue card to Child Safety as a volunteer so you will not incur any costs when you progress to completing your blue card or exemption card application.
Blue Card Services will advise you via a text message or email to confirm that you have been linked to Child Safety. Once you have received this verification you will be able to begin your blue card or exemption card application. Most online applications for people with no police information should be processed within five business days. Delays may occur if further information is required or if police or disciplinary information is received by Blue Card Services.
For people who reside in rural and remote locations or for people who do not wish to complete the online application process, Blue Card Services still provide a paper based application process, however the verification of identity process through TMR will still need to be completed as identified in the 'Verification of identity' section.
Renewing a blue card or exemption card that is about to expire
Blue cards and exemption cards are valid for 3 years and need to be renewed if you remain a carer. Blue Card Services will advise card holders that their card expiry date is approaching via text message. It is important that you ensure your contact details remain up to date so that you will receive this renewal advice. Child Safety and your foster and kinship agency will also have processes in place to ensure you are reminded of your card expiry date.
As a carer you and any adult household members are responsible for ensuring your blue card or exemption card does not expire. A renewal application can be submitted any time prior to your current blue card or exemption card expiring through the online application portal. Once you have submitted your renewal application you will be able to continue your caring role even if your new blue card or exemption card hasn't been issued. Your link with Child Safety will automatically carry over if you renew your card on time. Most online applications for people with no police information should be processed within five business days.
If you are renewing a blue card or exemption card that does not have a photo, a one-time registration process will need to be completed starting with a validation of identity through TMR (e.g. driver's license number).
If your blue card or exemption card expires before you have submitted your renewal application, you will be subject to the No Card No Start laws and you will need to complete a new blue card or exemption card application, beginning with the verification of identification process through TMR. This means that you will not be able to provide care for children and young people and any children or young people currently in your care will require a new care arrangement until you have received your new blue card or exemption card approval.
Blue Card Services will notify you and Child Safety of the outcome of the renewal application once it has been completed.