Mandatory notifiers and reporting
In Queensland the following four groups of people are required by law to report child protection concerns (mandatory notifiers):
- an authorised officer, employee of the department or a person employed in a departmental care service or licensed care service is required to report harm or suspected harm to a child in the care of a departmental care service or a licensee (Child Protection Act 1999, section 148)
- staff of the Office of the Public Guardian for Children and Young People (Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000, section 20)
- a doctor or registered nurse who becomes aware, or reasonably suspects during the practice of his or her profession that a child has been, is being or is likely to be harmed (Public Health Act 2005, section 191 and 192)
- family court personnel and counsellors (Family Law Act 1975, section 67ZA).
The department must provide notifiers from government or non-government agencies, which includes these mandatory notifiers, with information about the departmental response to child protection concerns reported (Child Protection Act 1999, section 159M). The notifier is to be asked whether they require feedback at the time of the initial contact with the department. If the notifier requests feedback the department must:
- provide information about the departmental response, the rationale for the decision and the likely timeframes for any departmental contact with the child or family.
- provide the feedback either at the time of the initial contact by the notifier, if the departmental response is apparent, or by a follow up phone call, facsimile, email or letter, once the information has been screened and the departmental response has been determined.