PeakCare is pleased to provide the below update released by the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs relating to the extension of time-limited arrangements for Licensed Care Services. PeakCare extends its thanks to the department and all organisations involved in supporting our advocacy on this important issue for our sector.
For additional information relating to PeakCare’s support for organisations experiencing issues with Child Safety and Personal History Screening Checks (LCS2 checks), please contact Tom Allsop, Principal Advisor, PeakCare Qld Inc. by email at email@example.com.
Applications for Child Safety and Personal History Screening Check (LCS2) – Extension of time-limited arrangements
Further to the advice I sent to you on 24 December 2021, I am pleased to advise that we have extended the use of the time-limited arrangement from Monday 10 January to Monday 7 March. This recognises the uncertainty we are facing with the increasing numbers of COVID infections, isolation and/or quarantine requirements and the impact this may have on staffing.
This extended timeframe will also enable us to review the current procedures and business processes in consultation with you and other stakeholders to determine a longer term solution.
We are also continuing our concerted effort to reduce the current outstanding applications, and I am pleased to advise that we have seen a further significant reduction of those currently in the system.
As previously advised, a screening outcome is only one of a range of ways organisations ensure children and young people are safe. Other strategies include recruitment processes, supervision and monitoring. As part of implementing the time-limited arrangement your organisation will be required to continue to use a range of ways to ensure a safe environment is maintained such as undertaking a risk assessment for the prospective employee and ensure any identified risks are mitigated and appropriate safeguards are put in place.
Implementation of this time-limited arrangement by your organisation is at your discretion; if your preference is to operate as per Business as Usual, using the existing LCS2 form, that decision is one for your organisation to make.
During the time-limited arrangement, requirements for determining interim suitability and engagement of a person to provide care services will include:
- an emergent need to engage a person to ensure adequate staffing levels in the licensed care service;
- the licensee is otherwise satisfied that they are a suitable person and complies with all other obligations about the person’s engagement, such as blue card/exemption card, employment history, minimum qualifications, mandatory training, induction into the licensed care service etc;
- the licensee requests the person to self-disclose if they have; been a respondent to a Domestic Violence Order, ever had their driver’s license suspended or cancelled, and/or ever been subjected to an intervention by a child protection authority (as an adult).
- the licensee is responsible for implementing appropriate risk management strategies, based on the circumstances of the licensed care service model, in respect of the person’s engagement to ensure the safety, wellbeing and best interests of a child are met in accordance with the Child Protection Act 1999.
- a LCS form 2 has been appropriately completed and submitted to the department prior to interim engagement.
- The licensee keeps a record of persons engaged under the time-limited arrangement and provides their details (including the addresses of the licensed care services the person has worked at) to Child Safety Licensing via CS_Licensing@cyjma.qld.gov.au.
During the extended period, Central Screening Unit will continue to have staff available, and will prioritise urgent LCS form 2 applications and aim to provide suitability recommendations to the licensee within 2-4 days (inclusive of public holidays but not inclusive of weekends). Please include ‘Priority Screening’ in the subject line of the email to the mailbox so that Central Screening Unit can easily identify which forms require a priority response.
If you have any questions, please contact the Central Screening Unit on 3097 5600 or via firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Tan, Manager Child Safety Licensing can also be contacted on 3079 5330 or email@example.com.