How to report a safeguarding concern
The Department of Health is committed to the safety and wellbeing, participation, and empowerment of all children and young people that access our services.
If you or your child have a concern about how they have been treated by the Department of Health, it is important to let us know so that we can find a solution.
Speaking up can be frightening for children and young people – adults can help them through the process and encourage them to speak up.
Depending on the concern, there are a range of options available.
- If you or a child are immediately at risk and need Police or medical assistance, dial 000.
- If you know, believe or suspect that an unborn baby, child or young person is being abused or neglected contact, the Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 or report online at Strong Families Safe Kids
- You can report inappropriate behaviour experienced while accessing the Department of Health services (see further information below).
Reporting concerns experienced while accessing Departmental services
If a child or young person discloses that they have experienced abuse, neglect, or inappropriate behaviour in our services, let us know as soon as practical.
Use this form to report concerns of inappropriate behaviour by a staff member, volunteer, visitor, patient or other person within Tasmania’s health care services or premises
All Department of Health staff are mandatory reporters, this means we have a duty to report any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Any information you pass on will be reported to the Advice and Referral Line.
You can also directly report known or suspected abuse or neglect to the Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 or report online at Strong Families Safe Kids
If your concern is related to the health service your child was provided (but is not related to inappropriate behaviour), you can send us feedback through our online feedback form. You will typically receive a response to your enquiry within seven working days.
Supporting individuals who disclose
Below are some practical tips to support you if you are responding to a disclosure from a child or young person.
- Move to a suitable environment, free of distractions.
- Be calm and patient—allow for the child or young person to be heard.
- Let the child or young person use their own words—avoid asking leading questions.
- Avoid “quizzing” the child or young person about details of the abuse.
- Don’t be afraid of saying the “wrong” thing. Listening supportively is more important than what you say.
- Reassure the child or young person that it is OK that they have told you what’s been happening.
- Address any concerns about the child or young person’s safety.
- Reassure the child or young person that they are not at fault and not the cause of any distress you may feel.
- Respect that the child or young person may only reveal some details.
- Acknowledge the child or young person’s bravery and strength.
- Avoid making promises you can’t keep—manage the child or young person’s expectations.
- Explain to the child or young person that in order for them to be safe, you will need to report their experience to someone else.
There are a number of organisations that can offer support to you and/or the child or young person:
- 1800 Respect – Call 1800 737 732 or visit the 1800 Respect website
24/7 telephone and online crisis support, information and immediate referral to specialist counselling for anyone in Australia who has experienced or been impacted by sexual assault, or domestic or family violence.
- Lifeline – Call 13 11 14 or visit the Lifeline website
24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention.
- Sexual Assault Support Service Inc (SASS) – Call 1800 067 877 (24 hours) or 03 6231 1811 / 03 6231 0044 (9 am - 5 pm weekdays) or visit the SASS website
Southern-based community service organisation committed to providing high quality support and information to survivors of sexual abuse.
- Laurel House – Call 03 6334 2740 (North) 03 6431 9711 (North West) or visit the Laurel House website
Northern and North Western based sexual abuse and sexual assault support service.
- Beyond Blue – Call 1300 224 636 or visit the Beyond Blue website
Mental health and wellbeing organisation supporting those affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.
- Kids helpline – Call 1800 55 1800 is a free, confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Visit the Kids helpline website