The Child Protection Act 1999 provides the legislative framework for the protection of children in Queensland.

This short video uses animation to explain the requirements for mandatory reporting under the Child Protection Act 1999. This video was produced by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

This video was updated in December 2017.

Transcript

All members of the community have a responsibility to protect children. Any person in the community may report to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services if they honestly and reasonably suspect a child has suffered, is suffering or is at unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm, and may not have a parent willing and able to protect them. In addition, there are certain professionals with mandatory reporting obligations under the Child Protection Act 1999.
These include doctors, registered nurses, teachers employed at a school, certain police officers, persons engaged to perform a child advocate function under the Public Guardian Act 2014 and early childhood education and care professionals.

Mandatory reporters are required by the Child Protection Act 1999 to report to Child Safety when they form a reportable suspicion. For mandatory reporters, a reportable suspicion about a child is a reasonable suspicion that the child has suffered, is suffering, or is at unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse and may not have a parent willing and able to protect the child from the harm.

Mandatory reporters must report to Child Safety when they have formed a reasonable suspicion that a child is a child in need of protection caused by physical or sexual abuse.

In addition, mandatory reporters may report to Child Safety a reasonable suspicion that a child is need of protection caused by any other type of abuse.

Any person may report to Child Safety a reasonable suspicion a child may be in need of protection, no matter how this arises.

Where concerns do not meet the definition of a child in need of protection an individual may continue to work with the family or take other action to help.

It is important to know that reporters are not responsible for the assessment of their reasonable suspicion or the final decision makers of whether a child is in need of protection. They only need to honestly and reasonably hold a suspicion that a child is in need of protection because a child has suffered, is suffering, or is at risk of suffering significant harm and the child’s parents may not be willing and able to protect them from harm.

The final determination about whether a child is in need of protection will be made by Child Safety. If a report is made to Child Safety it must satisfy both:
• That a child has suffered, is suffering, or is at risk of suffering significant harm; and
• Does not have a parent able and willing to protect the child from significant harm.

If both criteria are not satisfied, the matter is not investigated because it does not reach the legislated threshold for Child Safety to undertake an assessment. In this instance Child Safety may refer the family to a Family and Child Connect service to offer support to help them get back on track, before their problems escalate.
Mandatory Reporting, another way to keep children and young people safe.

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