1. Decide if a matter must be reported to the QPS

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2) and (3), imposes a legislative obligation on the department to notify the QPS regarding allegations of harm to a child that may have involved the commission of a criminal offence relating to the child. The Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(2), states, 'If the chief executive reasonably believes alleged harm to a child may involve the commission of a criminal offence relating to the child, the chief executive must immediately give details of the alleged harm to the police commissioner'. This applies whether or not the chief executive suspects the child is in need of protection (Child Protection Act 1999, section 14(3)).

When information is received by the department, or discovered during intervention by the department, and the information indicates the possible commission of a criminal offence relating to the child, consider the following:

  • is alleged harm identified for the child?
  • does the possible criminal offence relate to the alleged harm to the child?

The Child Protection Act 1999, section 9, outlines the following causes of harm:

  • physical abuse
  • neglect
  • sexual abuse or exploitation
  • psychological or emotional abuse.

For further information about the types of harm or abuse experienced by children that may indicate a criminal offence has been committed, refer to the practice resource Explaining harm and criminal offences (PDF, 45 KB).

The practice resource Schedule of criminal offences (PDF, 84 KB) provides guidance about the types of offences likely to be encountered.