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I am a child or young person

Are you unhappy with a decision made about you?

QCAT is here to help you.

If you are unhappy with the decision the department made about you, you can ask QCAT to take another look at the decision.

QCAT can look at all the information to see if the right decision was made.

You can ask QCAT to look at decisions such as:

“My care arrangements”

“Not telling my parents who is caring for me and where I am living”

“Not letting me contact my family”

“Telling me how I will see my family”

“Taking me away from my carer”

Step 1: Talk to the department

Try to talk to someone from the department about your feelings. This may be your Child Safety Officer (CSO).

They may be able to explain why the decision was made and help you work things out.

Make sure you have a copy of the letter from the department about the decision. You will need to give this to QCAT. If you can't get a copy of the letter, ask QCAT for help.

You don't need to tell the department, your family or your carer you are going to ask QCAT for help, unless you want to.

Step 2: Ask QCAT for help

You need to tell us what is wrong using this form (PDF, 482.0 KB) (Form 17).

You can ask someone to help you fill in this form.

You will need the copy of the letter from the department about your decision. Usually you need to apply to QCAT within 28 days of hearing about the decision.

If you want QCAT to stop something happening very quickly you can ask for a stay of the decision by ticking the box on page 5. A stay stops the decision being carried out until a final hearing can be held.

Step 3: What happens next?

QCAT will organise for everyone involved to have their say. This may be at a meeting or a hearing. QCAT will let you know who will be there and what you need to do.

We will help you try to work out the problem.

If the problem can't be worked out, QCAT will make a decision. QCAT may agree with the department's decision, or may change it.

Who can help me?

Talk to QCAT

The staff at QCAT can explain how everything works and what will happen next.

Call QCAT on 1300 753 228 (8.30am to 5pm weekdays, excluding Tuesdays 9am to 5pm) or email enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au.

Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) provides support and advice. They have a special responsibility to support and protect the rights of children and young people in out-of-home care. They can help make sure your voice is heard, particularly when decisions are made that affect you and your care arrangements.

You can contact the OPG in a range of ways including via phone, email or text message.

Legal advice and representation

You can call Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88 to ask for legal help. You can also get legal advice from solicitors, community legal centres or other community organisations. You are allowed to have legal representation at QCAT and can appoint someone at any time.

Other help

These organisations can help you by talking about any problems and helping you complete the application form and any other paperwork.

Foster Care Queensland can help you through QCAT processes.

The Youth Advocacy Centre offers free and confidential legal and welfare assistance.

Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.

Use this form to ask for QCAT's help

You can use form 17 (PDF, 482.0 KB) to tell QCAT about the decision you are unhappy with.

I want to make a complaint about QCAT

If you are unhappy about something that has happened at QCAT, you can use our QCAT child-friendly complaint form (DOCX, 361.1 KB) to let us know why you are unhappy and what you would like to happen.

Last reviewed
26 May 2017
Last updated
26 May 2017

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