Recommendation 20–1 State and territory child protection legislation should authorise a person to disclose to a law enforcement agency—including federal, state and territory police—the identity of a reporter, or the contents of a report from which the reporter’s identity may be revealed, where:
- the disclosure is in connection with the investigation of a serious offence alleged to have been committed against a child or young person; and
- the disclosure is necessary to safeguard or promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of any child or young person, whether or not the child or young person is the victim of the alleged offence.
The information should only be disclosed where:
- the information is requested by a senior law enforcement officer, who has certified in writing beforehand that obtaining the reporter’s consent would prejudice the investigation of the serious offence concerned; or
- the agency that discloses the identity of the reporter has certified in writing that it is impractical to obtain the consent.
Where information is disclosed, the person who discloses the identity of the reporter, or the contents of a report from which the identity of a reporter may be revealed, should notify the reporter as soon as practicable of this fact, unless to do so would prejudice the investigation.
Recommendation 20–2 State and territory law enforcement, child protection and other relevant agencies should, where necessary, develop protocols that provide for consultation about law enforcement responses when allegations of abuse or neglect of a child for whom the police have care and protection concerns are being investigated by the police.
Recommendation 20–3 State and territory family violence legislation should confer jurisdiction on children’s courts to hear and determine applications for family violence protection orders where:
- the person affected by family violence, sought to be protected, or against whom the order is sought, is a child or young person; and
- proceedings related to that child or young person are before the court; and
- the court is satisfied that the grounds for making the order are met.
Recommendation 20–4 Where a children’s court has jurisdiction to hear a family violence protection order application (see Rec 20–3), the court should also be able to make a family violence protection order in favour of siblings of the child or young person who is the subject of proceedings, or other children or young people within the same household, who are affected by the same or similar circumstances.
Recommendation 20–5 Where a children’s court has jurisdiction to hear a family violence protection order application (see Rec 20–3), the court should also have jurisdiction to make a family violence protection order for the protection of an adult, where the adult is affected by the same or similar circumstances.
Recommendation 20–6 Where a children’s court has jurisdiction to hear a family violence protection order application (see Rec 20–3), the court should also have power to vary or revoke a family violence protection order on the application of a party to the order, or on its own motion.
Recommendation 20–7 State and territory child protection legislation should:
- specify that judicial officers and court staff are mandatory reporters; and
- require child protection agencies to provide timely feedback to mandatory reporters, including an acknowledgement that the report was received and information as to the outcome of the child protection agency’s initial investigation.