To guide child protection workers regarding the identification of children in the CEO’s care, or any person who has previously been in the CEO’s care.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.
‘Publish’: to bring to the notice of the public or a section of the public by means of newspaper, photographs, television, radio, the internet or any other form of communication media.
‘Social Networking’: to communicate and share information between two or more individuals on an online community. Some well-known social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Under section 237 of the Act, a person must not publish information that identifies, or may lead to the identification of a child as being a child in the CEO's care, except under the express permission of the Director General who can approve such publishing if it is in the child’s best interests.
Child protection workers must check that carers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to identifying a child in the CEO's care. Further information is available in Information Sheet - Confidentiality (in related resources).
Social networking websites and mobile phones have become popular tools for children to socialise and share information. Children in the CEO's care are a vulnerable group whose personal information should be safeguarded to prevent exposure to bullying, stalking or disclosure of their location.
Children in the CEO's care should be made aware of the importance of keeping their personal details private when they are using social networking sites or using mobile phones. This includes identifying:
Please refer to the Cyber Safety (in related resources) and Department of Communities' internet resources on cyber safety.
Child protection workers can allow a child in the CEO's care to be photographed, video recorded, or included in other published media provided the child is not or cannot be identified as a child in the CEO's care, and their safety is not placed at risk by the publishing of the information.
When responding to a request for permission for information to be published by a school, community group or other which does not identify the child as being a child in the CEO’s care, child protection workers:
If information that will be published by us, a newspaper or other medium identifies the child as being a child in the CEO's care:
Child protection workers must consult with their team leaders and district director about the publication of any media that identifies, or is likely to lead to the identification of a child as a person who is, or was, in the CEO's care. For example, if we seek the public’s assistance to locate a child in the CEO's care who is missing, or if an article is published on the Achiever Awards about young people in the CEO's care, the following process must be followed (for young adults over 18 years of age written authorisation must be obtained from that person).
The child protection worker will be advised of the outcome of the request.
Child protection workers must store all published media (including photographs) of a child in the CEO's care on the Child History Folder and scan a copy for the child’s Child History File.
Store any contentious published media and associated case notes in the child’s case file.