One of the most important concerns of any community is the health, safety and well being of its children and young people.
Whilst parents and carers are responsible for the safety and welfare of children in their care, protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect is the responsibility of the whole community.
Child abuse and neglect can happen to any child or young person in any family and can have lasting, damaging effects.
There are many reasons why children are at risk of abuse and neglect. For example:
- their families do not have adequate support from relatives or the community
- their parents are experiencing a lot of stress such as unemployment, illness, isolation or loneliness
- their parents may not have experienced good parenting themselves
- their parents may be alcohol or drug dependent or have mental health issues or there may be domestic violence in the household.
Reporting your concerns about a child or young person's safety or wellbeing is an important step in preventing or stopping the abuse and protecting children from further harm. It also gives Community Services the chance to help families in situations where a child or young person may be at risk.
If you think a child or young person is at risk of harm from abuse or neglect, contact Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (TTY 1 800 212 936).
The Child Protection Helpline is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, statewide call centre staffed by professionally qualified caseworkers to receive and screen all reports.
If you work with children, you may be a mandatory reporter — see more about your particular responsibilities.
If a report has been made about you or a child in your care, you have rights as a parent or carer. Find out more about what will happen next and how you will be involved.