Mandatory reporting

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The Child Protection Act 1999 requires certain professionals, referred to as ‘mandatory reporters’, to make a report to Child Safety, if they form a reasonable suspicion that a child has suffered, is suffering or is at an unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse, and may not have a parent able and willing to protect them.

Mandatory reporters should also report to Child Safety a reasonable suspicion that a child is in need of protection caused by any other form of abuse or neglect.

Under the Child Protection Act 1999, mandatory reporters are:

  • teachers
  • doctors
  • registered nurses
  • police officers with child protection responsibilities
  • a person performing a child advocate function under the Public Guardian Act 2014.

Teachers include approved teachers under the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005, employed at a school.

Doctors and nurses include those employed in both the public and private health sectors.

Child Safety employees and employees of licensed care services are mandated to report a reasonable suspicion that a child in care has suffered, is suffering or is at an unacceptable risk of suffering significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse.

The department must provide notifiers from government or non-government agencies, which includes mandatory reporters, 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.