Skip to main content Accessibility help

Playing it safe? Opportunity is knocking!

  • Chris-Maree Sultmann (a1)

Has child protection in Queensland suffered from a risk-averse approach? The recent Child Protection Commission of Inquiry found that a risk-averse culture was one contributing factor to systemic failure in the State’s child protection system. Somewhat paradoxically, such an approach to child protection work can bring its own risks for children and young people. This commentary considers this and asks us to consider what a less risk-averse approach might look like in practice.

Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Chris-Maree Sultmann, Encompass Family and Community, 11 Brown Street, Camp Hill, Queensland, 4152, Australia. E-mail:
Hide All
Cashmore, J., & Paxman, M. (2007). Longitudinal study of wards leaving care: Four to five years on. Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre and NSW Department of Community Services.
Cashmore, J., & Paxman, M. (1996). Wards leaving care: A longitudinal study. Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales and NSW Department of Community Services.
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (2012). The Blue Card system and child protection in Queensland. Retrieved from
Fernandez, E. (1996). Significant harm: Unravelling child protection decisions and substitute care careers of children. Perspectives of child welfare workers and biological parents. Aldershot: Avebury.
Lopez-Alegria, M. (2012). Neil Armstrong tribute, Radio National Breakfast, Monday 27 August, 7.39 a.m.
Munro, E. (2011). The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final report – a child-centred system. London: UK Department for Education.
Nehru, J. (2013). Retrieved 7 August 2013 from
Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel. (2013). Child Protection Act 1999. Retrieved from
QCPCI (Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry). 2013. Taking responsibility: A roadmap for Queensland child protection. Brisbane: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry. Retrieved June 2013 from
SCRGSP (Steering Committee for Review of Government Service Provision). (2013). Report on Government Services 2013. Canberra: Productivity Commission, Australian Government.
Thomson, J., & Thorpe, R. (2003). The importance of parents in the lives of children in the care system. Children Australia, 28 (2), 2531.
Thoburn, J., Robinson, J., & Anderson, B. (2012). Returning children home from public care. Research Briefing 42, Social Care Institute for Excellence, United Kingdom.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Children Australia
  • ISSN: 1035-0772
  • EISSN: 2049-7776
  • URL: /core/journals/children-australia
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed