Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS
Child protection screenshot

Do you understand the details of the Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms and the new community-based child protection intake services?

StudioQ is now hosting a series of four short videos that provide an introduction to the child protection system in Queensland and the changes that will be in effect from 2015. 

The following videos, produced by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, give an animated overview of some key topics around child protection.

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

The main principle of the Child Protection Act 1999 is that the safety, wellbeing and best interests of a child are paramount. Other general principles include a child has a right to be protected from harm or risk of harm, and a child’s family has the primary responsibility for the child’s upbringing, protection and development.

Mandatory Reporting
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.      

About Family and Child Connect
The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry found that over the last 10 years the number of reports to Child Safety has tripled. Approximately 80% of these reports did not actually require a statutory child protection response and many of these families would have likely benefited from support services.

The Inquiry recommended the implementation of a community based intake model as one way of reducing the high volume of matters referred to Child Safety, and a way of providing support to families earlier. These services, called Family and Child Connect, provide an effective pathway for families to access appropriate support services to help them get back on track, before their problems escalate.

Information Sharing
Sharing information is a key part of ensuring that vulnerable children are protected and supported. All community members and professionals can and should offer support and resources to a family and share information about a family for a referral to a support service with the family’s consent.

Some professionals from particular entities prescribed under section 159M of the Child Protection Act 1999 may share information with support services, including Family and Child Connect, without the family’s consent. This is so that help and support can be offered to the family before their problems escalate.

To view these videos and many more informative and interesting multimedia resources, visit StudioQ.

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