This paper assesses whether the blue card system (designed to help prevent the abuse of children) has made for safer service environments for children and young people in Queensland.
The blue card system plays a critical part in the prevention of abuse and practices that may place children at risk of harm when they are receiving services and participating in activities which are essential to their development and wellbeing. These include environments such as child care, education, sport and cultural activities and where children may be particularly vulnerable such as foster care, residential care, detention and mental health facilities.
The blue card system was introduced in 2001 to address widespread community concerns about the number of children that had been exposed to significant levels of abuse in service environments intended to promote their safety and wellbeing. The blue card system recognises the vulnerability of children and the obligations of employers, the government, and the community as a whole, in protecting them from harm and promoting their rights, interests and wellbeing.
This is the first paper in a series that seeks to measure the substantial contribution the blue card system has made, and is continuing to make, in creating safer service environments for children and young people in Queensland.
The second paper in this series is ‘The blue card system and child protection in Queensland’, and the third paper ‘Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the blue card system’.