This agency was previously known - from 25 Jan 1996 to 26 Feb 1996 - as the Department of Family and Community Services, which superseded the Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs. The title was changed to the Department of Families, Youth and Community Care on 26 February 1996 after the general state elections, when the Department underwent structural changes.
Ministerial responsibilities included a range of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, neglected or abused children, juveniles in conflict with the law, people with disabilities, older people, the homeless, disadvantaged, families in crisis, etc.
The Department's services were highly decentralised to effectively meet needs at a local level. It consisted of the Director-General, the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Youth Bureau, Division of Disability Services, Division of Community Services Development, Division of Protective Services and Juvenile Justice; also the Office of the Director General, Information Services and Finance and Organisational Services.
The regional structure was built around services to clients and aimed to allow the greatest possible flexibility so that services could be responsive to local needs. The five regions were Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West Queensland, Central Queensland and North Queensland.
Following the State general elections on 17 Feb 2001, the Department's title was changed to the Department of Families.