Authors

Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak

Background

On the 29th of October 2018 the Child Protection Act 1999 was amended to enable the Chief Executive of Queensland’s then Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women to delegate functions and powers to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander entity (Part 2A S148BB) in relation to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child. Two early-adopter sites located in Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast were identified to implement this new legislation, each choosing to exercise differing delegations.

In June 2020 the former Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW) commissioned Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) to undertake an action research project to support the implementation of Delegated Authority (DA) in the early adopter sites.

As well as collecting evidence to understand the nature of implementation and support refinements to the approach, the action research approach was also used to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations (CCO) and the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (DCYJMA) in ensuring they have the right processes, policies, and methodologies to deliver the ongoing expansion of delegated authority state-wide.

To date five cycles of action research have been undertaken, with an interim report provided in May 2021 that highlighted emerging themes and shared insights from participants.

This report builds on this previous work by providing a consolidated analysis of critical insights including enablers and barriers to success, key themes emerging, and lessons learnt throughout the action research project. It outlines recommendations that will assist in supporting ongoing implementation and growth of implementation of delegated authority throughout the state.

Key findings

The majority of reflections during the action research cycles were focused on the following key areas.

• Enablers and Barriers to success (27%)
• Systemic change required to support Delegated Authority (DA) including policy and practice change (15%)
• Understanding what has worked in implementation of DA to date (18%)
• How DA has supported a shift to preferencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems (14%)
• The elements that support strong and healthy relationships (15%)