4. Provide relevant intake information to external agencies

4.1 Inform the police of possible criminal offences

Any intake information received that involves allegations of harm to a child that may involve the commission of a criminal offence relating to the child must immediately be provided to the QPS. This applies whether or not the department suspects the child is in need of protection (Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2) and (3)). For further information refer to Chapter 10.2 Statutory obligation to notify the Queensland Police Service of possible criminal offences and the practice resource Schedule of criminal offences (PDF, 84 KB).

Where a medical practitioner confirms that a child under 16 years has a sexually transmitted disease or is pregnant, the information must immediately be provided to the QPS if it is reasonably believed that alleged harm to the child may have involved the commission of a criminal offence. Consideration will also be given to recording a notification if required.

Where a paediatrician from Queensland Health reports suspected harm or risk of harm resulting from fabricated or induced illness, immediately provide the information to the QPS.

To provide information to the QPS:

  • complete a Police referral form and send it,
    • and send it via fax or email requesting a ‘read receipt’, along with relevant attachments, to the officer in charge of the nearest:
    Child Safety and Sexual Crimes Group (for Brisbane metropolitan CSSCs), or
    • Child Protection and Investigation Unit (CPIU), or
    • Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), or
    • police station
  • if a ‘read receipt is not received, contact the QPS by telephone to ensure they have received the information, discuss any possible action required and record the police job number or the name of the person contacted
  • attach the Police referral form to the relevant event in ICMS.

In cases where there is uncertainty about the need to report a matter to the QPS, report the matter to the QPS for their determination.

Provide information to the Office of Public Guardian

Where Child Safety provides information to QPS about a child who is subject to a child protection order, an assessment order, a temporary custody order or a care agreement, this information, excluding notifier details, will also be provided to the OPG as soon as possible or within one business day. For information about the OPG regional inboxes, refer to the OPG - Regional Visiting Manager contact details.

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4.2 Provide feedback to government and non-government agencies

Child Safety must, where requested, provide notifiers from government and non-government agencies with feedback about the response to the child protection concerns received. The notifier is to be asked whether they require feedback at the time of the initial contact with the department and this feedback is provided by the RIS determining the response. For the feedback process for SCAN team core member agency representatives, refer to 4.3 Provide feedback to SCAN team core member agencies.

The feedback provided may assist the agency to identify and action any plan for the support or safety of the child and family. It recognises that government and non-government agencies provide a range of services to children and their families, which may be disrupted or affected by departmental intervention, particularly if the intervention results in a child being removed from their family. This includes where the notifier is another professional working with the family of an unborn child.

If the notifier requests feedback:

  • provide information about the response, the rationale for the decision and the likely timeframes for any contact with the child or family
  • provide the feedback either at the time of the initial contact by the notifier, if the response is able to immediately be determined, or by a follow up phone call, facsimile, email or letter, once the intake response has been determined.

The information must be provided to the notifier as soon as possible when:

  • it is assessed that the information is critical to the notifying agency
  • a safety issue is identified, for example, if a parent makes a threat about a suspected notifier.

If the RIS intake response is reassessed by the CSSC, the relevant CSSC senior team leader will recontact the notifier and advise them of the revised response. For further information, refer to Chapter 10.6 Downgrading or deleting an approved notification.

For further information, refer to Chapter 10.3 Information sharing.

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4.3 Provide feedback to SCAN team core member agencies

When child protection concerns are received about a child from a core member agency representative or their approved delegate, the department must provide feedback about the response to the concerns within five business days from the day the information was received. A rationale for the decision must be included.

The feedback is provided by the RIS that receives the concerns, unless they have recorded the concerns on behalf of another RIS. Where this is the case, the local RIS or CSSC will provide feedback to the SCAN team core member agency representative.

When providing feedback to the SCAN team core member agency representative, the officer is also to provide the name and phone number of the relevant senior team leader from the CSSC responsible for the investigation and assessment.

When a RIS or CSAHSC records intake information and there is disagreement about the intake response by either the local RIS or CSSC, resulting in a change of outcome, the local RIS or CSSC senior team leader is responsible for contacting the SCAN team core member agency representative to advise the change in response. For further information refer to 13.What if there is disagreement with a RIS intake decision? and the practice resource Regional intake services workflow.

For concerns about a child in care, the CSSC with case responsibility will provide the response to the SCAN team core member agency representative.

Information coordination meetings (ICM)

An ICM provides a forum for discussion of a matter where a SCAN team core member representative seeks further information regarding the rationale for a departmental intake decision and requires the opportunity for multi-agency discussion.

A SCAN team core member agency representative may refer a matter that has been assessed as a child concern report to an ICM when:

  • the SCAN team core member agency representative has contacted the RIS senior team leader for further discussion regarding the decision and rationale
  • the matter remains a child concern report and the SCAN team core member representative requires the opportunity for multi-agency discussion.

The RIS senior team leader will attend the ICM.

At the ICM, core member agency representatives may provide contextual information that will assist with the discussion. For an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, this will include relevant information about Aboriginal tradition and Island custom. When deciding what information should be brought to an ICM and what information should be reported to the RIS, each core member agency must adhere to their own internal policies, procedures and legislation. The meeting is not the forum for discussing new child protection concerns.

There are two decisions that can occur as part of an ICM, either:

  • no further information is provided and the matter remains a child concern report
  • further information is provided and following discussions, the RIS senior team leader agrees that the matter should be re-assessed, and will refer the matter back to the RIS.

For further information refer to 12. What if a child concern report is to be re-assessed following a decision at an information coordination meeting? and the Information Coordination Meetings (ICM) and the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Team System Manual.

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4.4 Provide subsequent feedback following a decision to downgrade a notification

A notification is not to be downgraded:

  • as a response to the inability of a CSSC to commence or complete an investigation and assessment within the timeframes prescribed by the policies and procedures current at the time the notification was recorded
  • retrospectively, in response to receiving subsequent mitigating information about the child protection concerns already recorded and approved.

In circumstances where a decision is made by the CSSC manager to downgrade a notification, any professional notifier must be informed of the decision and provided with the rationale for the decision.

For further information, refer to Chapter 10.6 Downgrading or deleting an approved notification.

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