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.
All members of the community have a responsibility to protect children. Any person in the community may report to Child Safety if they honestly and reasonably suspect the child has been significantly harmed, and may not have a parent willing and able to protect them.
In addition, there are people with mandatory reporting requirements. These include doctors, registered nurses, approved teachers employed at a school, police officers, persons engaged to perform a child advocate function under the Public Guardian Act 2014, employees of licenced and departmental care services and employees of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. Mandatory reporters are required by the Child Protection Act to report to Child Safety when they from a reportable suspicion. For relevant persons 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 the department a reasonable suspicion that a child is a child in need of protection caused by physical or sexual abuse. Mandatory reporters should 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 the department a reasonable suspicion a child may be in need of protection, no matter how this arises.
Where concerns do not meet the child in need of protection threshold 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 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 willing and able to protect them from the 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.
Mandatory Reporting, another way to keep children and young people safe.