Mandatory reporting

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Mandatory reporting in the AIFS library catalogue

Annual report 2018-19

Victoria. Commission for Children and Young People
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2019.
This report highlights the work and achievements of the Commission for Children and Young People in Victoria in 2018/19. The Commission is mandated to promote continuous improvement and innovation in policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people generally and in particular those who are vulnerable, as well as the provision of out-of-home care services for children. The Commission incorporates the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People and is responsible for undertaking child death inquiries and administering the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme. Financial statements are also included in this report, as well as some statistics and information relating to the child death inquiries and mandatory notifications relating to allegations of reportable conduct. In this period, the Commission received 805 notifications of reportable allegations from heads of organisations, but it will take some years for numbers of notifications to settle into a predictable trend given the only recent commencement of the Scheme. 32 child death inquiries were also undertaken, relating to children who died from 2015-2019.

Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse: a survey of the Victims and Survivors Forum

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Great Britain)
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019.
As part of its work, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England in Wales is examining the adequacy of existing obligations to report child sexual abuse. To help inform this work, a survey was conducted with victims of child sexual abuse regarding their views on introducing mandatory reporting. This paper summarises the themes raised and includes quotes from respondents. Nearly all of the 130 respondents were in favour of introducing such laws, many stating that mandatory reporting could have led to something being done to stop the abuse or to the offender being brought to justice. However, several argued that it would discouraged them from disclosing abuse. The survey also asked about who such laws should apply to, funding, and professional training.

Child protection Australia 2017-18

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2017/2018 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. In 2017-18, about 159,000 children were in contact with child protection services: a rate of 28.7 per 1,000 children. Just over half of these children were the subject of an investigation only, and only 7% of children were involved in an investigation, care and protection order, and out-of-home care placement. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in the child protection system, at 8 times the rate for non-Indigenous children. Children from very remote areas had the highest rates of substantiations, at 4 times that of children from major cities. Emotional abuse was the most common type of substantiated maltreatment.

Child abuse and neglect : forensic issues in evidence, impact and management.

Bryce I, Robinson Y and Petherick W
San Diego, USA : Academic Press, 2019.
This text book provides a multi-disciplinary overview of child abuse and neglect. Part one looks at types of child abuse, part two considers impacts and outcomes, and part three looks at responses. Chapters are written by Australian and international authors, and include: Child abuse: types and emergent issues; Intimate partner violence as a form of child abuse; Keeping our eye on sex, power, relationships and institutional contexts in preventing institutional child sexual abuse; Online child sexual abuse; Understanding violent extremism and child abuse: a psychological analysis; Child trafficking: characteristics, complexities and challenge; Gender comparisons of offenders: males and females who sexually offend against children; Forensic victimology assessments in child abuse and neglect cases; Cumulative harm: chronicity, re-victimisation and developmental victimology; The pathological consequences of exposure to domestic and family violence in childhood; Physical punishment and offending in two successive generations; Physical discipline, child abuse and children's rights; Understanding the nature and dimensions of child sexual abuse to inform its prevention; False reports in child abuse and neglect cases; Mandatory reporting: managing disclosure and information gathering; Virtue ethics and good professional judgment in statutory child protection; Decision making guidelines for the child protection intake phase; Eight core principles of neurobiologically-informed interventions for trauma form childhood maltreatment; Understanding childhood maltreatment and subsequent re-victimization: a Singapore perspective; Understanding child maltreatment across ethnic minority communities in Australia: physical abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic and family violence and child sexual abuse; Child abuse and neglect and the judicial system: the limits of legal enterprise; and Public (mis)perceptions of sexual abusers of children and their implications thereof.

A taxonomy of duties to report child sexual abuse : legal developments offer new ways to facilitate disclosure.

Mathews B
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 88 Feb 2019: 337-347
One purpose of the legal obligation to report child sexual abuse is that it helps address children's reluctance to disclose abuse. Professionals, managers of children's services, and the general public can all play a role in protecting children as 'external facilitators of disclosure'. This article presents a taxonomy of reporting duties found with civil, criminal, public health, and child protection law and explains their nature and operation. Seven key duties are described: though these duties vary in whether they apply to specific professionals or all adults, they all share an ethical impulse for early detection.

To mandate or not to mandate : a review of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect.

MacCormick N
Journal of Law and Medicine v. 26 no. 2 Dec 2018: 334-340
This article looks at the development of mandatory child abuse reporting, from historical changes in the concept of childhood to the relatively recent development of state child protection, as well as benefits and criticisms of such policies. It also considers differences in legislation across the states and territories of Australia.

Ending the victim-blaming : the Australian Jewish community and its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mendes P
Gesher : Official Journal of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria) 2018: 69-73
This article argues that some Jewish organisations in Australia have failed to deal appropriately with institutional child sexual abuse. It highlights the problems caused by a reluctance to report abuse, vulnerabilities due to cultural practices, a priority on protecting the accused and the community's reputation, and shaming and shunning alleged victims and their families, rather than providing support. The findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse into the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah Colleges in Melbourne, Victoria, and Bondi, New South Wales, are raised as examples.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia's response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations for government, agencies, and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia, two of the leading Catholic organisations in the country. It addresses each of the recommendations that affect the Catholic Church and describes what actions will be taken. The bishops and religious leaders are grateful to the Royal Commission for their work and have accepted or accepted in principle nearly all of the Royal Commission's recommendations. The one recommendation that cannot be accepted relates to not exempting the seal of the confessional in mandatory reporting, which would be contrary to the Catholic faith and inimical to religious liberty.

Child protection Australia 2016-17

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2016/2017 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. The findings show that one in 32 children received child protection services in 2016/2017, with 74% being repeat clients. Rates of substantiations, care and protection orders, and out-of-home care numbers have continued to rise over the last four years, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continued to be over-represented: in 2016/17, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services.

Reports of child sexual abuse of boys and girls : longitudinal trends over a 20-year period in Victoria, Australia.

Mathews B, Bromfield L, Walsh K, Cheng Q and Norman R
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 66 Apr 2017: 9-22
This article compares gender differences in reports of child sexual abuse in Victoria over 20 years. Government data from 1993 to 2012 was analysed to investigate trends in reporting rates, reports by mandated reporters, and outcomes of substantiations and referrals. The findings reveal a significant increase in reports of abuse against boys in the last three years, probably due to a combination of social, political and agency-related factors.

Teachers' understanding and practice of mandatory reporting of child maltreatment.

Falkiner M, Thomson D and Day A
Children Australia v. 42 no. 1 Mar 2017: 38-48
Teachers are one group of professionals who are mandated to report child maltreatment, yet some teachers are still reluctant to make such a report. Based on interviews with 30 primary school teachers in Victoria, this article examines the barriers that discourage teachers from reporting and whether teachers consider it necessary to question a child about the maltreatment before they decide if a report should be made. The interviews raised themes of inadequate training, the need for certainty, and seeking evidence by questioning suspected child victims.

Child protection Australia 2015-16

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2015/2016 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. The number of children receiving child protection services is continuing to rise, with 1 in 33 children receiving child protection services in 2015/16.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect

Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017.
The legal requirement to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect is known as mandatory reporting. This paper explains the different legal provisions across the states and territories of Australia, regarding who is legally mandated to report suspected child abuse, what type of concerns must be reported, and the benefits and challenges of mandatory reporting.

Report of the inquiry 'Review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT'

Glanfield L
Canberra, A.C.T. : ACT Government, 2016.
This inquiry was commissioned to ensure that systems operate effectively and efficiently in the Australian Capital Territory to protect the safety of women and their children. It reviews the current legislative framework, policy, practices, and operations of ACT Directorates and service providers who respond to family violence - with a focus on systemic issues. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry. Topics include mandatory reporting, quality assurance and oversight, information sharing, collaboration and integration, and interface with child protection. The inquiry was prompted by the tragic death of Bradyn Dillon in February 2016

Impact of a new mandatory reporting law on reporting and identification of child sexual abuse : a seven year time trend analysis.

Mathews B, Lee X and Norman R
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 56 Jun 2016: 62-79
In January 2009 in Western Australia, it became mandatory for many categories of professionals to report cases of suspected child sexual abuse. This article investigates the impact of these laws on the reporting and identification of child sexual abuse. It compares the number of reports by mandated reporters, the number of investigations, and the number of substantiated investigations three-years before and four-years after the law was implemented.

Inquiry into abuse in disability services: final report

Edwards M
Melbourne : Victorian Government Printer, 2016.
This inquiry investigates the abuse of people who access disability services in Victoria and the effectiveness of current safeguards. The findings of stage 1 of the inquiry - which focused on the impact of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - were published in 2015. This second and final report presents the findings and recommendations of stage 2, which investigated any additional issues on why abuse among this client group is not reported or acted upon, as well as best practice in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse, and the powers and processes of Victoria's current investigation and oversight bodies. Topics include: experiences of abuse and neglect in disability services, prevalence, barriers to reporting abuse, experiences of reporting, whistleblowers, the criminal justice system, witnesses with complex communication needs, mandatory reporting, the Department of Health and Human Services' critical incident management system, workforce screening and training, workforce culture, gender and violence, prevention, advocacy, independent oversight, and transitioning to the NDIS.

Child protection Australia 2014-15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2014/2015 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. In 2013/14, 1 in 35 children received child protection services, with 73% being repeat clients. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continued to be over-represented, and are 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to be receiving child protection services.

Review of child protection mandatory reporting laws for the early childhood education and care sector: report

Queensland. Law Reform Commission
Brisbane Qld. : Queensland Law Reform Commission, 2015.
In 2014, the state government asked the Queensland Law Reform Commission to review child protection mandatory reporting laws for the early childhood education and care sector (ECEC). Though the ECEC sector is not subject to the mandatory reporting laws contained in the Child Protection Act 1999, ECEC staff - like any public person - can report concerns about a child at any time. This report presents the recommendations and findings of the review. Commission concludes that mandatory reporting should be expanded to apply to the ECEC sector.

Child abuse and neglect: a socio-legal study of mandatory reporting in Australia

Mathews B, Bromfield L, Walsh K and Vimpani G
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Social Services, 2015
This research project explores and compares trends in the reporting of child abuse and neglect by different mandated and non-mandated reporter groups in each Australian state and territory, in the context of their relevant jurisdictional legislation. The findings are presented across 9 volumes. Topics include: general nature and effect of mandatory reporting laws; major legislative differences and common approaches across Australia; different reporter groups; differences in types and severity of abuse and neglect that must be reported; differences in the definition of 'child' to whom the reporting duty is owed; mandatory reporting legislation as one element of a systematic approach to child protection and welfare; and legislative developments. A key aspect of the project was the analysis of administrative data to identify numbers and outcomes of notifications of each type of child abuse and neglect made by each reporter group in each jurisdiction. Volume 1 presents an overview of the findings, and includes two literature review: 'Factors influencing mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect' and 'Theoretical critiques of mandatory reporting laws'. The remaining volumes provide comprehensive analyses for each jurisdiction.

Preservice teachers' sources of information on mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse.

Goldman J and Grimbeek P
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse v. 24 no. 3 2015: 238-258
This article investigates where preservice teachers learn about their mandatory child abuse reporting obligations in Australia. Fifty-six final year university students were surveyed regarding the sources they used regarding ten key aspects of child protection. The findings reveal that most did not learn about mandatory reporting or child sexual abuse at university, with some even citing public media as their primary source of information.

Catholic Church responses to clergy-child sexual abuse and mandatory reporting exemptions in Victoria, Australia : a discursive critique.

Guerzoni M and Graham H
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy v. 4 no. 4 2015: 58-75
This article presents a critical discourse analysis of institutional responses by the Catholic Church to clergy-child sexual abuse in Victoria, drawing on evidence from the Victorian Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations. It seeks to answer whether - in the context of the Catholic Church in Victoria - the ritual of the confessional, clergy exemption from mandatory reporting, and the 'Melbourne Response' have acted as enablers of institutional inaction and secrecy about clergy-child sexual abuse?

Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse : 10 year trends from a national study across reporter groups and different legal frameworks.

Mathews B, Bromfield L, Walsh K, Vimpani G and Coe S
14th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect : ACCAN 2015 : cultural responsiveness in a multi-agency world : 29 March - 1 April 2015, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2015: 14p
A research study is nearly completed into mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse in Australia. This presentation summarised findings from the different components of the study, which included a history of reporting law over the last decade, data analysis of case files, nad literature reviews. This document contains the slides from the session, which feature charts and some text.

Review of child protection mandatory reporting laws for the early childhood education and care sector: discussion paper

Queensland. Law Reform Commission
Brisbane Qld. : Queensland Law Reform Commission, 2015.
In 2014, the state government asked the Queensland Law Reform Commission to review child protection mandatory reporting laws for the early childhood education and care sector (ECEC). Though the ECEC sector is not subject to the mandatory reporting laws contained in the Child Protection Act 1999, ECEC staff - like any public person - can report concerns about a child at any time. This review will consider whether the mandatory reporting requirements under the Act should be expanded to cover this sector, including long day care and family day care services and kindergartens. This discussion paper sets out the issues and invites submissions and feedback from the public and interested stakeholders. It reviews the regulatory framework of the ECEC sector in Queensland, the Queensland child protection system and recent inquiries, mandatory reporting across Australian jurisdictions, arguments for and against mandatory reporting, and data collection.

Child protection Australia 2013-14

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2013/2014 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. In 2013/14, 143,023 children received child protection services - a 6% rise from 2012/13. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children continued to be over-represented, and are 7 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to be receiving child protection services.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and marginalised families.

Douglas H and Walsh T
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 491-509
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. This chapter considers the issues and concerns of those working with marginalised groups, such as Indigenous families or families experiencing homelessness or domestic violence. It draws on two studies with support workers and lawyers in Queensland, with reference to Australian mandatory reporting law.

The role of mandatory reporting in preventative child welfare reforms : an uneasy fit?

Bromfield L
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 467-490
A critical change of the professionalisation of the child protection workforce of the 1960s was that authorities were not just 'able' to intervene to protect a child - they were expected to do so. This chapter charts this broadened scope of child protection, with reference to the Australian context. Topics include: the impact on the residual child protection system, differential response, the public health approach to child protection, referral pathways into prevention and early intervention services, and examples of alternate pathways - Child FIRST in Victoria and Gateway Services in Tasmania.

Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse by religious leaders.

Parkinson P
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 295-308
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in Australia and overseas. This chapter considers the arguments for requiring clergy and other religious leaders to report suspected child abuse. Topics include religious barriers to reporting in Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism, and different options for how mandatory reporting in religious settings could be conducted.

Mandatory reporting and the difficulties identifying and responding to risk of severe neglect : a response requiring a rethink.

Lonne B
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 245-273
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in Australia and overseas. This chapter focuses on severe child neglect, including the complex nature of neglect, types of neglect, difficulty in predicting future harm, and the merits of mandatory reporting in cases of severe neglect.

Economic issues in the community response to child maltreatment.

Segal L
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 193-216
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. This chapter considers economic issues and the rationale for government intervention, illustrated with examples from Australia. Sections include: establishing the case for a government role in child maltreatment, child maltreatment as 'market failure', determining the optimal policy response to child maltreatment and the role of mandatory reporting, case finding/reporting, and the child protection response.

A theoretical framework for designing and evaluating strategies to identify cases of serious child abuse and neglect.

Mathews B
Mathews, Ben, ed. Bross, Donald C., ed. Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. Dordrecht : Springer, 2015 Child maltreatment 4 9789401796842: 127-156
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in Australia and overseas. This chapter proposes a theoretical framework for any society considering policy approaches to identify and respond to cases of serious child abuse and neglect. It considers the key features of serious child abuse and neglect that must be considered by any framework, the nature and costs of serious child abuse and neglect, nondisclosure and the need for identification by others, the nature and purpose of mandatory reporting laws, and children's and parents' rights, with reference to the theories of John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Richard Rorty, John Rawls, and Martha Nussbaum.
Subscribe to