Queensland Government
Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women
Child Protection Guide

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Welcome to the online Queensland Child Protection Guide (CPG).
The Queensland Child Protection Guide (CPG) is a tool to assist professionals' decision-making if concerns arise about a child who appears:
  • to have experienced, or is likely to experience significant harm AND
  • may not have a parent willing and able to protect them from harm.
The CPG will help professionals decide to report to the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (Child Safety) or refer to other service providers, to help families receive appropriate supports and services in a timely manner.

The CPG is intended to complement rather than replace an individual professional's critical thinking and does not prohibit a professional from any course of action they believe is appropriate.

NOTE: Call '000' and ask for the appropriate service to respond to an emergency and/or seek immediate medical or mental health care, if:
  • child has a serious illness or injury requiring immediate medical attention
  • a crime has just been or is about to be committed
  • a child has just caused or is about to cause serious harm to self or others.
When the situation is under control, proceed to using this CPG to guide your decision if required.
  1. Start on this page.
  2. Select the main decision tree that matches the concern(s) you have. If you have more than one concern, first select the concern with the greatest impact on the child. If completing that tree does not result in a recommendation to report to Child Safety - Regional Intake Service (CS-RIS), select the next concern. Continue until you have reviewed all of your concerns or you have reached a recommendation to report to CS-RIS.
    If you are uncertain which decision tree to select, you may select the 'unsure' option, which will guide you through questions to suggest a decision tree that best fits your concern. Decision trees for selection include:
    • Physical Harm
    • Neglect
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Emotional/Psychological Harm
    • Parent Concern
    • Child is a danger to Self or Others
    • Pregnant Woman - Unborn Child
    • Unsure
  3. After selecting the applicable decision tree, you will be asked questions requiring an answer.
  4. It is important to read the accompanying definitions to provide a 'yes' or 'no' answer until a final recommendation is reached.
  5. A decision report can be generated with an explanation of the outcome based on your completion of the decision tree.
The decision report may be printed and/or saved for your records. If a report or referral to Child Safety was not recommended and you still have child protection concerns, seek advice from your supervisor and consult other internal agency resources.

The CPG does not restrict a professional from contacting Child Safety with concerns regarding harm or suspected harm to a child or young person.

For detailed procedures, appendices and a glossary please refer to the Child Protection Guide site.
Working Across Difference
Workers engage with families, children and communities whose ethnicity, economic status, age, gender, culture, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation and upbringing may differ greatly from their own. Intrinsically, people are influenced by personal experiences and therefore can be biased when assessing others who differ from themselves.
Considerations Regarding Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Children and Families
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child-rearing practices are derived from a body of cultural knowledge specific to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons and are defined as incorporating the following.
  • Independence
  • Responsibility of children at an earlier age
  • Cultural authority (within kinship/clan groups)
  • Cultural responsibility (passing on of knowledge or skills)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societal structures have changed and were influenced during the settlement of Australia, beginning with first contact with British settlers through to the present day. The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been directly or indirectly affected by past Federal and State government policies and interventions. These interventions have contributed to a breakdown in knowledge of child-rearing practices, supportive family kinship and community structures and guidance offered by traditional laws. The influence of past government interventions and policies must be considered holistically when considering child protection concerns.

When working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, it is important to seek to understand strengths of their unique parenting practices and kinship structures, the strengths of community caring, collective decision making and network capabilities surrounding the child and family. Cultural connection is a strong protective factor for keeping children safe within their families, significantly influencing their identity and providing a sense of belonging that will contribute to the child's safety and well-being.
The Queensland Child Protection Guide (CPG) is a decision support tool that has been collaboratively developed across both the government and non-government sector led by the Children's Research Center, USA, to assist professionals to appropriately report or refer families to Child Safety, or other service providers, in a timely manner. The CPG was implemented on 23 January 2012 as a 12 month trial and was subsequently expanded across Queensland to support professionals with decisions around referral pathways for families.

If you experience technical issues please contact your local Regional Intake Service.