Queensland Government media release
More eyes will be on Queensland children to ensure their safety, with mandatory reporting across the early childhood and education care sector starting from July 1 2017.
Under Mason’s Law, professionals working in the early childhood and education care sector will be required to report concerns they may hold about the safety and wellbeing of children.
Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said Mason’s Law would see existing mandatory reporting responsibilities held by teachers, police, doctors and nurses, expanded to people working in Queensland’s early childhood and care sector.
The new laws were unanimously passed by Queensland Parliament last year and were prompted after the tragic death of Townsville toddler Mason Parker and recommendations made by Queensland’s Law Reform Commission.
“Mason’s Law has come about through the tireless advocacy of Mason’s grandparents, John and Sue Sandeman,” she said.
John Sandeman said he was thrilled both sides of government had worked together to ensure mandatory reporting was implemented in Queensland.
“It’s wonderful that it’s gone through and I believe it’s starting to save children from being abused, it’s fantastic,” he said.
“We’re really happy with how it’s going.”
Ms Fentiman said Mason Parker’s legacy has made sure child care workers across Queensland know who and when to call when they see or have concerns about children.
“All Queenslanders have a role to play in keeping Queensland’s children safe.
“This includes reporting genuine concerns about a child’s safety to the department,” she said.
Anyone can report concerns by calling their local child safety intake line. All calls are confidential.
From 1 July 2017 all educators, supervisors, directors of childcare centres, family day care co-ordinators and educators, as well as out-of-school hours providers will join our list of other professional reporters who have mandatory responsibilities to make those calls.
Ms Fentiman said the change had been supported with more than 100 face-to-face information sessions.
“The sector is really getting behind this change, and so far we have seen 3,200 people take part in face-to-face sessions and our online information session has been viewed more than 13,000 times”.
“We have also updated our online mandatory reporting guide to help staff assess concerns”.
“Already the online child protection guide is being used by early childhood education and care professionals, with more than 300 logins made since March.
“This shows us that this system is being used even before changes officially start on 1 July.”
A range of resources and fact sheets to support mandatory reporters are available on the department’s website.
Child Safety Regional Intake Services
Brisbane 1300 682 254
Central Queensland 1300 703 762
Far North Queensland 1300 684 062
Ipswich 1800 316 855
North Coast 1300 703 921
North Queensland 1300 706 147
South East 1300 679 849
South West 1300 683 390