Mandatory Reporting Requirements
Understand what your responsibilities are for reporting child abuse and domestic and family violence.
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Mandatory reporting requirements vary between the states
Most states and territories have laws requiring certain workers and professionals to report if they suspect child abuse.
In some instances, workers and professionals are also required to report instances of exposure to domestic and family violence, in recognition of the seriousness of this type of harm to the developing child.
In the Northern Territory, it is mandatory for any adult who believes a child has been, or is likely to suffer harm or exploitation or be a victim of a sexual offence. Harm is defined to include exposure to domestic and family violence, along with other forms of abuse or neglect.
The Northern Territory law also requires all adults to report serious domestic and family violence to the police. The Domestic and Family Violence Act requires this if someone has caused or is likely to cause serious physical harm to someone else, and/or the life or safety of another person is under serious or imminent threat from domestic violence.
Check your organisation’s policies and procedures
Many organisations have their own policies and procedures around reporting where children are at risk of harm, including harm from exposure to domestic and family violence. They may require that children be reported to child protection authorities, even where there is no legal requirement that services do this within that state or territory.
To learn more you can review the Australian Institute of Family Studies' Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect.
For more information about reporting suspicions of child abuse, contact the relevant Department in your state or territory, listed below:
Information contained on this page was current at November 2012. It provides a general guide only and services will need to check key provisions in their own state and territory on the relevant Departmental website.