A person under 18 years of age.
For the purposes of this procedure the definition of an employee is adopted as defined in s. 364 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) to mean ’a person engaged to carry out work at the school for financial reward’. This includes paid employees of the P&C, contractors on school premises, Youth Support Coordinators, School-Based Youth Health Nurses and Chaplains, etc.
Female Genital Mutilation, as defined in section 323A of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (Criminal Code), means clitoridectomy, or excision of any other part of the female genitalia, or a procedure to narrow or close the vaginal opening or any other mutilation of the female genitalia; but does not include a sexual reassignment procedure; or a medical procedure for a genuine therapeutic purpose. Note also that it is an offence under section 323B of the Criminal Code to remove a child from the state or arrange to remove a child to have Female Genital Mutilation performed on them.
For the purposes of this procedure the definition of harm is adopted as defined in s.9 of the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld):
- Harm, to a child, is any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing.
- It is immaterial how the harm is caused.
- Harm can be caused by –
Harm can be caused by –
- physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect; or
- sexual abuse or exploitation
- a single act, omission or circumstance; or
- a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances.
Types of Harm
Sexual abuse is a criminal offence. It refers to any sexual dealing with a child under 16 (or under 18 where the dealing involves sodomy). It includes the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct or behaviour for the sexual gratification or profit of the person responsible. It also includes circumstances where a child under 16 (or under 18 where sodomy is involved) seemingly gives consent to the conduct. It also includes circumstances where there is an unacceptable risk that the child may be sexually abused. Such activity can include among other things, exhibitionism, exposing students to pornographic images or text, fondling, oral sex and intercourse. Where the child is above the age of 16 but is not yet 18 and suffers from an impairment of the mind (means a person with a disability that (a) is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive or neurological impairment or a combination of these and (b) results in (i) a substantial reduction of the person’s capacity for communication, social interaction or learning; and (ii) the person needing support) a person who engages in sexual dealing with the child commits an offence.
Physical abuse occurs when an adult or another young person or child deliberately assaults a child or young person. A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the other person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person’s purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault. Applies force includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort. Physical abuse can also include placing children and young people in situations where they are at risk of being harmed, for example, locking children in hot cars.
Emotional abuse occurs when children are deprived of an environment which supports and nurtures them emotionally and intellectually. Emotional abuse may occur when children are exposed to chronic/severe domestic and family violence; significant parental mental health and/or substance abuse concerns; parental behaviours that are persistent and/or repetitive, and have a negative impact on a child’s development, social needs, self-worth or self-esteem; parental criminal and/or corrupting behaviour; parental behaviours that deliberately expose a child to traumatic events.
Neglect is denying a child or young person access to their basic needs including food, clothing, housing and health care. A child living in unhygienic conditions or being denied access to education are also forms of neglect as are failing to adequately protect a child or provide age appropriate levels of supervision.
As described in the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 (Qld) ss. 14-15 - conduct that could, if proved, be a criminal offence or a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is the holder of an appointment.
Parent/carer acting protectively
A parent/carer who supports the best interests of their child/young person by:
- providing support to the child/young person when there are concerns of self-harm or risk of self-harm
- engaging with school personnel to support the child/young person at school, and
- seeking medical or mental health care or referral to counselling services as required.
Refers to the principal or officer in charge, from time to time, of a state educational institution.
Suspects on grounds that are reasonable in the circumstances.
Under section 159C of the Child Protection Act 1999, relevant information means, in respect of giving information to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Child Safety) chief executive or an authorised Child Safety Officer (CSO), information that the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) authorised officer reasonably believes may:
(i) help an authorised CSO to investigate an allegation of harm or risk of harm to a child or assess a child’s need for protection; or
(ii) help the Child Safety chief executive take action, or decide if he or she reasonably suspects a child is in need of protection, under section 14; or
(iii) help an authorised CSO to investigate or assess, before the birth of a child, the likelihood that the child will need protection after he or she is born; or
(iv) help the Child Safety chief executive in offering help and support to a pregnant woman under section 21A; or
(v) help the Child Safety chief executive to develop, or assess the effectiveness of, a child’s case plan; or
(vi) help the Child Safety chief executive to assess or respond to the health, educational or care needs of a relevant child; or
(vii) otherwise help the Child Safety chief executive to make plans or decisions relating to, or provide services to, a relevant child or the child’s family.
Relevant information also means, in respect of giving information to another service provider (a prescribed entity or another person providing a service to children or families or a recognised entity) information a DETE authorised officer reasonably believes may help the service provider to—
(i) decide whether information about suspected harm or risk of harm to a child should be given to the Child Safety chief executive; or
(ii) decide whether information about an unborn child who may need protection after birth should be given to the Child Safety chief executive; or
(iii) help the Child Safety chief executive to offer help and support to a pregnant woman under section 21A; or
(iv) assess or respond to the health, educational or care needs of a child in need of protection; or
(v) otherwise make plans or decisions relating to, or provide services to, a child in need of protection or the child’s family.
SCAN (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) team system
The purpose of the SCAN team system is to enable a coordinated, multi-agency response to children where statutory intervention is required to assess and meet their protection needs. This is achieved by:
- timely information sharing between SCAN team core members
- planning and coordination of actions to assess and respond to the protection needs of children who have experienced harm or risk of harm
- holistic and culturally responsive assessment of children’s protection needs.
Within the SCAN team system, an Information Coordination Meeting (ICM) provides a forum for discussion of a matter where a SCAN team core member representative seeks further information regarding the rationale for a child safety intake decision and requires the opportunity for multi-agency discussion. It is attended by representatives from SCAN team core member agencies only.
The members of the SCAN team undertake an assessment of available information in relation to each case and formulate recommendations for action. A SCAN team comprises:
- a SCAN team coordinator (Child Safety)
- a SCAN team administration officer (Child Safety)
- a representative from the SCAN team core member agencies:
- Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
- Queensland Police Service
- Queensland Health
- Department of Education, Training and Employment
- the recognised entity when an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child is the subject of discussion.
School staff member
Employed by Education Queensland and normally performs their daily duties within a school or schools, whether on a temporary, permanent or contract basis.
Any person who visits the school on a one off or regular basis to provide services to the school. This includes any volunteers assisting in the school tuckshop, classrooms or on school excursions or presenters of one-off programs.
Harm that requires immediate medical or psychological intervention. Self-harm includes self-inflicted injuries, OR other self-inflicted physical or psychological damage.
- Self-inflicted injuries. Child has recent injuries and EITHER child admits inflicting injuries or the pattern of injuries appears self-inflicted.
- Other self-inflicted physical or psychological damage. Child’s behaviour has caused or is likely to cause serious physical or psychological damage to self. Serious damage requires immediate medical or psychological evaluation or intensive treatment (e.g. acute drug overdose)
Any behaviour that might reasonably be interpreted as being designed or intended to arouse or gratify sexual desires.
State educational institution
A state educational institution established under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006.
Any person, regardless of age, who attends a state educational institution, established under section 13, 14 or 15 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld). For the purposes of this procedure only, the definition of ‘student’ includes a pre-preparatory age child being provided with a pre-preparatory learning program at a prescribed state school (see section 419A of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006) and a child registered in a distance education pre-preparatory learning program provided by a state school (see section 419F of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006).