To provide information to child protection workers on the consent procedures required when a child in the CEO's care wants to obtain a body piercing, tattoo or branding.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities (Communities).
Section 103 and 104A of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 prohibits body piercing, tattooing and branding without appropriate consents. Intimate body piercing (genitals, anal area, perineum and nipples) is prohibited for children less than 18 years of age, irrespective of parental consent under s.104A(2). For further information see Chapter 2.2: Assessment and investigation processes.
In seeking approval for body piercing, tattooing or branding for a child in the CEO’s care, child protection workers must provide a written submission to the assistant district director, district director or Executive Director, as detailed in the related resource Body Piercing, Tattooing and Branding: Checklist for Staff.
Generally, submissions for tattooing and branding for a child in the CEO’s care will not be approved due to the permanent nature of tattooing and branding and the difficulty in removing them later in life (with removal resulting in scarring). Requests for tattooing and branding will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
Child protection workers must confirm (with the environmental health officer of the local council) that the body piercer or tattoo artist (and person piercing ears when this is being considered) are registered with the council and there are no current concerns regarding the business complying with the Health (Skin Penetration Procedure) Regulations 1998.
There are many health risks associated with body piercing, tattooing and branding. Blood borne infections may occur if it is not performed in a safe and sterile manner. For further information about blood borne infections see Department of Health website: Body Art.
After approving the written submission:
As businesses have a responsibility to check the validity of the consent, the child protection worker’s contact details must be noted on the consent form.
The relevant approval must be recorded on the Child History File on Assist.
If consent is not given, the child protection worker should discuss the reason with the child in care, as well as the child’s parent’s and/or carer as appropriate. Details must be recorded.
Additional information regarding body piercing, tattooing and branding of children is available under: