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Child Safety

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Child Safety Unit was established in 2004 to participate in the whole-of-government response to the recommendations of the Crime and Misconduct Commission's (CMC) report, Protecting Children: An Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Foster Care.

The Child Safety Unit's role is to:

  • Provide the Director-General with strategic advice on child safety issues as they impact on the Department
  • Contribute to whole-of-government and whole-of-system promotion of child safety
  • Work with other government departments to implement the CMC recommendations and child safety reforms
  • Support the delivery of child protections in partnership with key agencies, particularly the non-government sector and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Increase awareness within the Department of the rights of children and their needs within the criminal justice system
  • Develop a framework for the Department's responses to child safety issues
  • Liaise with Queensland Police Service (QPS) to monitor the Child Protection Offender Register
  • The Unit will achieve this by encouraging a collaborative approach across the Department, and by partnering with other government departments involved in child safety.
  • What does it mean for Queensland Corrective Services staff?
  • Amendments to the Child Protection Act allow for:
    • the sharing of information amongst parties involved in case planning for purposes directly related to a child's welfare or protection
    • mandatory reporting for registered nurses; and
    • Department of Child Safety may request QCS provide a service to a member of the child's family, to help meet the child's protection and care needs.
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Child Protection Offender Register

As part of child safety reforms, one of the key changes to affect QCS custodial and community corrections staff will be the requirement to provide relevant information on "reportable offenders" to QPS for the National Child Protection Register.

On January 1, 2005, the Child Protection Offender Reporting scheme commenced in Queensland. The supporting legislation is the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004.

The register was established to manage offenders who have committed sexual offences and other serious offences against children. It recognises that certain offenders should continue to be monitored after their release back into the community. It requires particular offenders to keep police informed of their whereabouts and other personal details for a period of time, to reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend. QCS staff will play a key role assisting police maintain the register's information.

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Who are reportable offenders?

The following categories of people will be required to report to police and will be referred to as a "reportable offender":

  • A person who is sentenced for a reportable offence after 1 January 2005.
  • A person who, as a result of having been sentenced for a reportable offence before1 January 2005:
    • is serving a term of imprisonment
    • is subject to a supervision order, or
    • is subject to a reporting order under section 19 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1945.
  • A person who, as of 1 January 2005, is subject to a recognised Child Protection-related reporting order from a foreign jurisdiction.
  • A person who, after meetingcertainpre-requisites,isconvictedbyacourtforanon-reportable offence or made subject to a Forensic Order (Criminal Code or Mental Health Court) and ordered to comply with the reporting obligations of the Act.
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What constitutes a reportable offence?

The following types of offences, subject to minimum sentencing thresholds being met, constitute a reportable offence:

  • Offences involving sexual intercourse with a child.
  • Offences involving an act of indecency against or in respect to a child (excluding obscene exposure offences)
  • Sexual servitude and prostitution offences involving a child (other than those committed by child prostitutes)
  • Child pornography offences
  • Murder offences committed against children (not manslaughter)
  • Any other offence against a child, where there is an express sexual element on the face of the offence
  • An offence an element of which is an intention to commit an offence referred to above, or attempt,conspiracy, or incitement to commit such an offence
  • Any offence of another jurisdiction, that if done in the registering jurisdiction, would constitute an offence referred to above
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Length of reporting period and details to be reported

There are a number of factors that determine the length of a reporting period, including the seriousness of the offence committed and the number of reportable offences the person has been convicted of.

Details to be reported include information such as the offender's name, or previous names, date of birth, address or place they can be found, employment details, vehicle description and any identifying marks, such as a tattoo. Information about any children that reside in the household or any children with whom they have unsupervised contact is also required.

For further information please refer to the "Child Protection Offender Register Information for Staff November 2004" which can be found on the Queensland Corrective Services intranet site under Policy and Programs, ChildSafety.

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Further information

Queensland Corrective Services Child Safety Unit will provide regular information updates to staff. Information is also available by phoning (07) 3239 0195.

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Child safety resources

There are a number of resources available that provide further information on child safety.

Websites
Information on the following organisations involved in child safety can be found on the internet:
Department of Child Safety www.childsafety.qld.gov.au
Department of Communities www.communities.qld.gov.au
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au
National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect www.napcan.org.au
International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect www.ispcan.org

Other web resources
The Crime and Misconduct Commission report Protecting Children: An Inquiry Into Abuse of Children in Foster Care - March 2004 can be downloaded at www.cmc.qld.gov.au
Relevant child safety legislation can be accessed through www.legislation.qld.gov.au

Further information
Queensland Corrective Services staff can contact the QCS Child Safety Unit on (07) 3239 0195 or logon to the QCS intranet Child Safety Unit area, under Policy and Programs.

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Last Updated: 25 September 2006