Queensland Gets Tougher Rules for Residential Care Workers

By Andrew Heaton

(image via Senses Residential Care)

Residential care workers in Queensland will need to hold minimum Certificate IV qualifications going forward as the government in that state moves to beef up protection for children in residential care.

In her latest announcement, Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said that from July 1 next year, all new workers within the residential care system will be required to have or be working toward a Certificate IV in a relevant child welfare or child-well-being course.

The state will also work with providers to transition existing workers who do not possess the minimum requirements in order to ensure that these workers are able to gain the qualifications they need.

In a statement, Fentiman said the new requirements would ensure that vulnerable children living in residential care are cared for by those who have a suitable grounding from which to provide that care.

“The needs of children in residential care are increasingly complex and that’s why staff need as much specialist child welfare knowledge as possible,” Fentiman said.

PeakCare Executive Director Lindsey Wegner welcomed the announcement, saying the new qualifications would help non-government organisations to ensure they recruited staff who had the prerequisite skills and knowledge required.

The latest announcement comes amid the implementation of the Hope and Healing Framework, which sets out a foundation for caring and working with children in a way which understands and responds to trauma and is therapeutic in approach.

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