Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
CYPS receives reports of concern relating to the safety and well-being of children and young people. Concerns may be related to:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse (including exposure to family violence)
- Sexual Abuse
If you are you concerned about a child or young person, you can notify CYPS in a number of ways:
Phone: 1300 556 729
Complete the online child concern report
Our service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note however that after regular business hours, you are still able to report a concern, but we provide a crisis response only.
Information required when making a Child Concern Report
When making a Child Concern Report, please provide the following information:
- name and date of birth of the child or young person
- the home address of the child or young person and any known previous addresses of the family
- the current whereabouts of the child or young person
- name of parents, or their aliases, and contact details
- names of known siblings
- the nature of the abuse and neglect
- if you know of any supports being provided to the child, young person and family including extended family
- details about when and how you became aware of the information.
More information about making a report can be found in Keeping Children and Young People Safe
To obtain copies of the Keeping Children and Young People Safe publication please contact Learning and Community Education on (02) 6207 1382.
Mandated reporters are identified in Section 356 of the Children and Young People Act 2008 and include, among others:
- Child care centre workers
Mandated reporters must make a Child Concern Report if they believe on reasonable grounds, based on information obtain during the course of (or because of) their work, that a child or young person has experienced, or is experiencing:
- sexual abuse, or
- non-accidental physical injury.
Failure to report in a timely fashion may result in a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or both.
Mandated reporters should contact CYPS in any of the following ways:
Phone: 1300 556 728
Complete the online child concern report
What happens to my report?
CYPS will review all reports received and determine an appropriate course of action. In some cases this will involve making applications to the ACT Children’s Court for care and protection orders and maintaining an ongoing role with children and young people in foster, kinship or residential care placements.
All reporter details are kept in the strictest confidentiality. We ask for reporter details however in the event that we need to get more information about the child, family, or the incident. Information identifying a person making a child protection report will not be disclosed except where a Court orders the disclosure. CYPS work is underpinned by the Children and Young People Act 2008
Child and Youth Protection Services is authorised to collect personal information under the Children and Young People Act 2008 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the ACT. The information collected may be disclosed to government and non-government agencies (including but not limited to the Australian Federal Police, ACT Children’s Court, the Family Court, Health and Education Directorates and community organisations) to assist in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Information identifying a person making a child protection report is treated with the highest confidentiality and will not be disclosed except where a Court orders the disclosure.
What if my Child is Reported?
If a report is made to CYPS about your child, or a child in your care, then CYPS will gather information to make an assessment of whether or not the child may be at risk. CYPS may contact you by phone and may request to visit your home to discuss the nature of the Child Concern Report. If this happens, you may nominate a time for the meeting that suits you and you have the option of having a support person present.
If CYPS receives a report alleging the child is at immediate risk of harm, CYPS will investigate, or appraise these concerns straight away. If this is the case, the CYPS worker will explain all the allegations made without disclosing the source of the information.
If CYPS does contact you to discuss a report, it does not always mean that further action will be taken. Find out more about working with CYPS in the Guide for families with Care and Protection Services.