Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) restricted grant recipients must report serious incidents to us and state and territory authorities.
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About reporting serious incidents
CCCF restricted grant recipients must report serious incidents to us by completing the Notification of serious incident form within 24 hours of an incident.
The form makes us aware of any circumstances that pose a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of children at a service.
Grant recipients that are licensed or regulated by state and territory authorities must also report serious incidents to those authorities within 24 hours.
Providers, educators and other education and care service staff with restricted services may also be required to report other incidents or suspected incidents involving children under state and territory laws. This includes child protection legislation.
Definition of a serious incident
A serious incident includes:
- death of a child while being cared for by the service
- the death of a child from an incident that occurred while being cared for by the service
- any incident involving injury, harm or trauma to, or illness of, a child while cared for by the service for which
- a medical practitioner was sought, or should have been sought, or
- the child attended, or should have attended, hospital
- any incident at the premises where care is usually provided that was attended, or should have been attended, by emergency services
- a child who
- goes missing
- appears to have been taken or removed from the premises in a way that would contravene the National Regulations, regardless of whether the regulations apply, or
- is accidently locked in or locked out of the premises, or any part of those premises, where care is provided.
Physical and sexual abuse
In Part 2 (Div 2)(9) of the Child Care Subsidy Minister's Rules 2017, a child is taken to be at risk of serious abuse or neglect if the child is at risk of suffering harm from, or being subject to, or exposed to, any of the following:
- serious physical, emotional or psychological abuse
- sexual abuse
- domestic or family violence
Harm means any detriment to the child's wellbeing.
Neglect means a failure to be provided with the basic needs essential for the child's physical and emotional wellbeing.
In making a report, you must consider risk factors and signs of abuse such as sexualised behaviour or suspected grooming.
It is a criminal offence if you fail to protect and to report a reasonable suspicion of child abuse.
This includes any incident or allegation where you reasonably believe that physical or sexual abuse of a child has occurred, or is occurring, while at the service.
What you must do
You must implement arrangements to manage serious incidents, including notifying us in writing within 24 hours after:
- a serious incident occurs or
- a circumstance occurs that could have resulted in a serious incident.
This means that all restricted services, other than those approved under National Law, must:
- implement appropriate arrangements, including policies and procedures, that effectively manage incidents and emergencies. Refer to Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (Part 4.2) as a guide
- notify us, using the Notification of serious incident form, about any serious incident that occurs or could have occurred at the service, or during any excursion or outing with the service, that poses a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of a child attending the service.
- Complete the Notification of serious incident form within 24 hours.
- If you reasonably believe that an incident or allegation of child sexual or physical abuse is occurring, you are mandated to immediately report this to your state or territory reporting authority. Provide us with the mandatory reporting number that you will receive, in addition to the Notification of serious incident form. For further information, visit the Child Family Community Australia website or contact your regulatory authority.
Where we cannot confirm a mandatory report has been made to the appropriate reporting authority, we are required by law to report on reasonable grounds:
- any child at risk of significant harm or incidents
- allegations of child sexual or physical abuse (as per Criminal Code Act 1995 (the Criminal Code) and Crimes Act 1914).
How to use the serious incident form
The Notification of serious incident form is a fillable PDF document.
When you have completed the form and signed it, you can “submit” online and the form will be directly sent to us.
If you have issues with filling in the online form, you can print, complete and email it directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions, please email us as above.