Child protection will remain top of the agenda for child safety staff over the Christmas and New Year period.
Children Minister Leanne Linard said it was important to remind Queensland parents and carers that help was always available, even over the holidays.
“Child protection is everyone’s business, every day of the year, but sometimes families need a helping hand and child safety staff are ready to assist whenever and wherever needed,” Ms Linard said.
“Christmas can be a time of significant pressures for families as they find themselves struggling to cope with extra financial and family issues, or separation from children and loved ones.
“The festive season can be wonderful, but it can also be stressful and that is why I want to remind everyone that help is just a phone call away.
“Child Safety staff are always available to respond if a child needs protection.
“If you are worried about the safety of a child, whether it is a neighbour, friend or family, please report your concerns to one of our dedicated child safety officers today.”
Queensland’s Child Safety After Hours Service Centre will operate over the Christmas and New Year holiday period and can be contacted at 1800 177 135.
“Child safety staff rely on families, parents and carers to keep their kids safe, and when children are at risk, we need that information to help protect our most vulnerable,” Ms Linard said.
“We have rostered additional staff 24 hours a day across Queensland during the Christmas period, ready to respond to emerging child protection issues.
“Child safety staff are already working hard to ensure families remain connected during the Christmas period, with individual arrangements taking into account the needs of each family and child during this busy time.”
The Department of Children also funds 42 Intensive Family Support services that provide more intensive support for families experiencing vulnerability, as well as 17 Family and Child Connect (FaCC) services, which can provide free, unlimited, and confidential advice.
To ensure families have access to information, resources, and the support they need, FaCC services are open over the holiday period, excluding public holidays, and can be contacted by calling 13FAMILY (13 32 64).
“If your family is going through tough times, don’t wait until it’s too late – reach out now and do the right thing for your children and your family,” Ms Linard said.
The Child Safety Service After Hours Service Centre is the central point of contact and is available by calling 1800 177 135.