The purpose of the visitor program

The Community Visitor Program

Queensland’s Community Visitor program is designed to protect the rights and interests of children and young people in foster care, kinship care or residential care across Queensland. This means visiting children or young people in a foster home, the home of a kinship carer, a residential care facility, a youth detention or adult correctional centre, disability service or mental health facility. Regardless of whether a child or young person is in the child protection system, our community visitors will attend all children and young people in a youth detention centre or mental health facility, to ensure their rights and interests are being protected.

Queensland’s visiting program is one of the most comprehensive in Australia; more than 140 community visitors (CVs) work across 13 zones covering a geographic area of 1.7 million kilometres.

For adults, community visitors monitor the adequacy and appropriateness of services provided in particular accommodation, referred to as ‘visitable sites’. Community visitors make announced and unannounced visits to ensure consumers are cared for, make inquiries, and lodge complaints for, or on behalf of, consumers. Community visitors have the power to refer complaints to an external agency— such as the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, Queensland Health, or the Residential Services Unit in the Department of Housing and Public Works—where appropriate.

For children and young people in care, community visitors monitor and promote their rights and interests, and advocate that the services are provided in accordance with the standards of care and charter of rights. The charter of rights under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 74 and Schedule 1 describes the core rights that apply to every child and young person who is subject to the custody or guardianship of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. Community visitors are available whenever a child or young person needs their help; providing advocacy, support and information about any matter that is concerning them.