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Manage international child protection matters

Child Safety receives an increasing number of child protection matters requiring liaison with overseas authorities and related agencies such as the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Queensland's responsibilities under the Hague Convention on the Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (also known as the Hague Child Protection Convention) are outlined in the Queensland Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003.

The responsibility for administering the Child Protection Convention in Queensland lies with Child Safety. Court Services is responsible for the coordination of duties on behalf of the Director-General as the State Central Authority, and for the management of international child protection matters.

Not all countries are signatories to this convention; however, the principles of the Child Protection Convention are considered desirable in how Child Safety approaches all child protection matters where there is an international component.

Court Services must be contacted as soon as it becomes apparent that a case may require enquiries with other services due to some international aspect of the case. Types of matters which must be referred to Court Services include:

  • liaising with Home Affairs to clarify the visa or residency status of a child
  • applying for an appropriate visa and/or citizenship for a child in care
  • locating a family member overseas
  • assessing a family member overseas
  • making a child protection notification to an overseas welfare authority
  • requesting case work from an overseas welfare authority
  • referring a matter in accordance with the Hague Child Protection Convention to an overseas signatory country.

Note

If a child’s family member is living or has previously lived overseas and child protection checks from overseas are required to locate or assess that family member, this is requested through Data Management Services (DMS) by the CSO. However, it is not always possible to obtain child protection history checks from overseas due to the domestic laws of other countries.

Court Services is responsible for forwarding child protection check from overseas welfare authorities to the relevant CSSC and will assist and support the CSSC in responding appropriately. Where such referrals are made under the Hague Child Protection Convention, Court Services will assist the CSSC to manage the matter accordingly under the Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003.

Attention

If child protection checks in New Zealand are required, they are managed under the Interstate Child Protection Protocol(April 2016) and the Interstate Child Protection Protocol Operating Procedures (July 2016). This protocol provides guidelines for information sharing between Queensland and New Zealand.

For information on responding to requests from or generating requests to New Zealand, refer to Engage with other states, territories and New Zealand.

Note

The Hague Child Abduction Convention is an international treaty under which arrangements are made for the return of children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside their country of habitual residence. Court services manages all matters in relation to the Hague Child Abduction Convention and liaises with the relevant CSSC, Placement Services Unit or CSAHSC as required.

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