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Tia's family operated day care centre

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/09/2016 Jamie McKinnell and Melissa Grant

Slain schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer's foster family operated a day care centre until their approvals were revoked in April when police alerted the government to alleged criminal activity.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman made the revelation while announcing a six-month review of the state's blue card system in light of criminal charges laid against the Thorburn family.

Tiahleigh's foster father, Rick Thorburn, 56, has been charged with murder and his son Trent, 19, is facing charges of incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

His wife Julene, 54, and older son, Josh, 20, have been charged with perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Fentiman said the couple was approved as foster carers in August 2014.

"All relevant checks, including blue cards, criminal history checks, interviews and reference checks were undertaken including mandatory training," she said in Brisbane on Wednesday.

No other children were placed with the family after Tiahleigh disappeared in late October last year; however, police shared intelligence on the Thorburns in April.

"This was the first time concerns had been raised about the Thorburns," Ms Fentiman said.

"Their family day care approval was immediately revoked and their foster care approval was immediately suspended."

Ms Fentiman wouldn't say whether the family's alleged criminal conduct related to the Tiahleigh Palmer case.

Queensland's Family and Child Commissioner, Cheryl Vardon, insisted the state's blue card system was not broken.

"We need to improve it, we need to look at categories, we need to look at a whole range of things to make it a very strong regime," she said.

Commissioner Vardon said 3000 blue card applications were declined over the past two years and 600,000 current card holders were monitored "very consistently".

The probe will also look at indigenous communities and take note of what has come out of the child sex abuse royal commission.

Commissioner Vardon flagged international criminal checks and the categories of persons who can be identified through blue cards among the aspects she will look at closely.

Asked whether those improvements would have helped Tiahleigh, she replied: "We don't know, we simply don't know".

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the case showed the need for an investigation into the state's foster care system.

"It should be investigated by the child and family services commission," he said.

But Foster Care Queensland executive director Bryan Smith said that appeared to be a "knee-jerk reaction".

"We have one of the most in-depth and stringent arrangements around the approval of foster carers in Australia," Mr Smith told AAP.

There are more than 8000 children in out-of home care in Queensland with over 5000 carers.

In the last year, 30 carers were cancelled - 18 as a result of a notification from the blue card system and 12 from internal government investigation.

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