Flaws found in Qld child safety department

The report submitted in March by the Queensland Ombudsman says the way the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women handles complaints about children's safety goes against legislation.

In his executive summary, Ombudsman Phil Clarke says issues including misclassification and under-reporting were identified in the investigation.

One of the most glaring issues highlighted in the report is that the department's Complaint Management System does not comply with the law.

"The internal review mechanism provided under the department's complaints management policy and procedure does not accord with the Australian/New Zealand Standard because it does not provide for a merits review of a previous complaint process or decision," the report states.

In layman's terms, the system does not comply with the industry standard, which is required by law.

The report also declares the complaint system is "unnecessarily complex and confusing" and leads to "frustration and delay".

"Decision-making in the management of complaints was a key concern identified in the investigation," the report says.

"A lack of clarity about how a decision about a complaint should be made and who should be the decision-maker has resulted in poor outcomes for complainants."

Nine recommendations have been made in the report, which has been tabled in parliament.

One of the recommendations is to ensure the system meets the Australian standard, by restructuring internal review process.

More than 11,400 youths are involved in the state's child protection system.


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