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

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.

Mandatory reporting laws : their origin, nature, and development over time.

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: 3-25
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in Australia and overseas. This introductory chapter outlines the origin and development of the first mandatory reporting laws and subsequent key reforms, as well as their impact on substantiated and unsubstantiated reports, and the arguments for and against.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect by health professionals.

Scott D and Fraser J
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: 381-393
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. This chapter focuses on child abuse reporting by health professionals in Australia, including issues of perceived role, diagnosis, the impact of training on recognition, fear of consequences, damage to therapeutic relationship, fear of being identified as the reporter, professional culture and hierarchy, and the influence of perceived system failures on reporting practices. Though health professionals are well-placed to identify and report child abuse - in young children in particular - they need support and training for this role.

Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect

Mathews B and Bross D
Dordrecht : Springer, 2015.
This book reviews key issues in mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, from Australia and overseas. Sections include: the historical and current context of mandatory reporting laws, theoretical and ideological debates and issues, legal and conceptual debates and issues, practical issues and challenges for reporters, relationship of reporting with response systems, practical issues and challenges for response systems, and international variations and challenges.

Mandatory reporting laws and identification of child abuse and neglect : consideration of differential maltreatment types, and a cross-jurisdictional analysis of child sexual abuse reports.

Mathews B
Social Sciences v. 3 no. 3 2014: 460-482
In the worldwide effort to determine how best to identify and respond to cases of child maltreatment, many nations have developed mandatory reporting laws. This article investigates whether such laws make a difference in identifying cases of abuse. It examines the nature and function of mandatory reporting laws, describes the key characteristics of different types of child abuse and neglect, and compares reporting and identification rates of child sexual abuse in two jurisdictions with and without legislative mandatory reporting - Victoria and Ireland. The article posits a differentiation thesis, arguing that different patterns of reporting between both reporter groups and maltreatment types must be acknowledged and analysed, and should inform discussions and assessments of optimal approaches in law, policy and practice.

Australian print media framing of mandatory reporting.

Gillespie K, McCosker L, Lonne B and Marston G
Communities, Children and Families Australia v. 8 no. 2 Dec 2014: 13-28
Mandatory reporting is a key aspect of Australia's approach to protecting children and is incorporated into all jurisdictions' legislation, albeit in a variety of forms. In this article we examine all major newspaper's coverage of mandatory reporting during an 18-month period in 2008-2009, when high-profile tragedies and inquiries occurred and significant policy and reform agendas were being debated. Mass media utilise a variety of lenses to inform and shape public responses and attitudes to reported events. We use frame analysis to identify the ways in which stories were composed and presented, and how language portrayed this contested area of policy. The results indicate that within an overall portrayal of system failure and the need for reform, the coverage placed major responsibility on child protection agencies for the over-reporting, under-reporting, and overburdened system identified, along with the failure of mandatory reporting to reduce risk. The implications for ongoing reform are explored along with the need for robust research to inform debate about the merits of mandatory reporting.

Historical review of sexual offence and child sexual abuse legislation in Australia: 1788-2013

Boxall H, Tomison A and Hulme S
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology ; Sydney, NSW : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2014.
To help the Royal Commission with its work, this report was commissioned to provide an historical review of sexual offence legislation in Australia - particularly as it related to children - from British colonisation in 1788 to the present. It explores the socio-political context within which child sexual abuse legislation has developed in Australia and provides an overview of the offences with which a person who sexually abused a child may have been charged during 1950-2013, for the different jurisdictions of Australia. Key legislative developments during this period include: the decriminalisation of homosexual acts, the removal of gendered language from legislation, broadening the definition of sexual intercourse, the introduction of legislation relating to child pornography, and the introduction of mandatory reporting for child abuse.

Mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse in Australia: a legislative history

Mathews B
Sydney, NSW : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2014.
To help the Royal Commission with its work, this report was commissioned to explain the development of mandatory reporting laws in Australia and to identify the existence and scope of mandatory reporting laws in any jurisdiction at a given point in time. It identifies differences within and between State and Territory laws from 1969 to 2013.

Child protection Australia 2012-13

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2012/2013 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 2012/2013 there were 135,000 children in contact child protection services, including investigation, care and protection order and/or in out-of-home care - a rate of 26.1 per 1,000 children. However, more than half (56%) of these children were subject only to an investigation - that is, they were not subsequently placed on an order or in out-of-home care. Note: this is the first time that unit-record level data have been available for analysis and reporting, allowing the inclusion, for the first time, of a number of previously unavailable analyses: including unique counts of children receiving child protection services in each jurisdiction; the number of substantiations per child; co-occurring types of abuse and neglect; socioeconomic status; and 'average day' measures.

Child sexual abuse and mandatory reporting intervention preservice content preferred by student teachers.

Goldman J and Grimbeek P
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse v. 23 no. 1 Jan/Feb 2014: 1-16
To help inform teacher training, this article investigates the needs and preferences of student teachers concerning child sexual abuse in Australia. This includes information on the identification of abuse, teacher role, responses and procedures after disclosure, and mandatory reporting.

Mandatory reporting laws.

Mathews B and Walsh K
Hayes, Alan, ed. Higgins, Daryl J., ed. Families, policy and the law : selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014. 9781922038487: 131-142
To help protect children from significant abuse and neglect, each state and territory in Australia has enacted legislation commonly known as 'mandatory reporting laws'. Under mandatory reporting, specifically designated professionals who work with children are legally required to report certain kinds of child abuse and neglect to government authorities. This chapter explains the nature of these laws, professional duty of care, and the different legislative principles operating across Australia. It also highlights the need for effective reporter training and public awareness, especially given the tension between the widely perceived need for a community response to child abuse and neglect and the simultaneous concern to avoid unnecessary reporting of innocuous events and situations.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect

Mathews B and Scott D
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.
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.

Child protection Australia 2011-12

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2011/2012 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. This report also contains feature sections on mandatory reporting requirements, child protection legislation, policy and practice differences across Australia, and recent policy developments. Between 2010/11 and 2011/12, the number of children who were the subject of substantiations increased from 31,527 to 37,781 - an increase in the rate from 6.1 to 7.4 per 1,000 children.

Emerging issues

Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, 2012.
The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry was established on 1 July 2012 to review the performance and effectiveness of the child protection system in Queensland. This preliminary discussion paper provides background information on the six key issues that the Commission has reviewed so far, prior to the release of a more detailed discussion paper next year. These key issues are: mandatory reporting, Indigenous over-representation, investment in secondary services, responding to children and families with complex needs, growth in demand for out-of-home care, and workforce and workload issues.

Understanding teachers' reporting of child sexual abuse : measurement methods matter.

Walsh K, Mathews B, Rassafiani M, Farrell A and Butler D
Children and Youth Services Review v. 34 no. 9 Sep 2012: 1937-1946
This article examines the factors influencing teachers' reporting of child sexual abuse in Australia. Based on a survey of 470 teachers, it studies actual past and anticipated future reporting behaviour and the factors influencing these, such as reporting attitudes, system attitudes, policy knowledge, and concerns about consequences.

Child welfare policy and practice on children's exposure to domestic violence.

Cross T, Mathews B, Tonmyr L, Scott D and Ouimet C
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 36 no. 3 Mar 2012: 210-216
This article summarises current knowledge on the prevalence of children's exposure to domestic violence, and reviews child welfare policies in Australia, Canada, and the United States. It briefly discusses data collection, mandatory reporting, child protection initiatives, and differential response approaches.

Exploring the contested role of mandatory reporting laws in the identification of severe child abuse and neglect.

Mathews B
Freeman, Michael, ed. Law and childhood studies. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012. Current legal issues v. 14 9780199652501: 302-338
One argument against the mandatory reporting of child abuse is that it produces overreporting, leading to infringements of privacy and diverting scarce resources away from substantiated cases. This chapter examines the validity of this claim. It reviews the history and development of mandatory reporting laws, compares laws in western nations, and analyses data from the New South Wales child protection system, regarding their legislation changes, notifications, and substantiated cases of abuse.

The decision making processes adopted by rurally located mandated professionals when child abuse or neglect is suspected.

Francis K, Chapman Y, Sellick K, James A, Miles M, Jones J and Grant J
Contemporary Nurse v. 41 no. 1 Apr 2012 Special Issue, Advances in contemporary community and family health care, 3rd ed. 9781921980039 Advances in Contemporary Nursing no. 22: 58-69
The reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is a mandated role of medical doctors, nurses, police and teachers in Victoria, Australia. This paper reports on a research study that sought to explicate how mandated professionals working in rural Victorian contexts identify a child/ren at risk and the decisions they make subsequently.

Child protection Australia 2010-11.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2010/2011 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. This report also contains feature sections on mandatory reporting requirements, child protection legislation, policy and practice differences across Australia, recent policy changes, differences in data systems across Australia, and a glossary. Though the number of children subject to a notification has decreased significantly in recent years, the number of children in out of home care has increased, with 37,648 children in care in 2011.

Failing whom? The proposal to introduce 'failure to protect' laws in Victoria.

DVRCV Quarterly no. 3 Spring/Summer 2011: 15-16
The Victorian government is currently reviewing whether to adopt 'failure to protect' laws, similar to those found in South Australia, Northern Territory, and overseas. Such laws oblige adults take action if they believe a child in their care is being abused, and creates offences for adults who fail to take action. However, many people in the family violence sector have concerns about this proposal. This article summarises a joint submission prepared by a group of agencies from the Victorian Family Violence Justice Reform Campaign, including the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Women's Legal Service Victoria, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, No To Violence, Women with Disabilities Victoria and Domestic Violence Victoria. It outlines their concerns with the proposal, and suggests what is needed instead.

Women's views: moving forward on mandatory reporting of domestic and family violence in the Northern Territory

West D
Darwin, NT : Charles Darwin University, 2011
In 2009 mandatory reporting of domestic violence by professionals and community members was enacted in the Northern Territory. This report was undertaken to analyse how this legislation impacted upon service providers and the safety of women and children. The report reveals that there were very mixed views about mandatory reporting. Concerns were expressed around the awareness of the legislation; the impact such legislation would have on the therapeutic relationship between staff and clients and a perceived lack of difference which the legislation had made to the safety of women and children.

Child abuse : mandatory reporting requirements.

Bird S
Australian Family Physician v. 40 no. 11 Nov 2011: 921-926
The aim of child abuse mandatory reporting legislation is to enable medical practitioners and other professionals to report cases without fear of criticism or reprisal. This article outlines the legal obligations of medical practitioners to report suspected child abuse in each state and territory of Australia, and the relevant legislation, definitions, and contact details.

Safeguarding children across services: messages from research

Davies C and Ward H
London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011
"The Safeguarding Children Research Initiative [in Great Britain] is an important element in the government response to the Inquiry following the death of Victoria Climbie. Its purpose is to provide a stronger evidence base for the development of policy and practice to improve the protection of children in England. Eleven studies were commissioned as part of the Safeguarding Children Research Initiative. This Overview focuses on the findings from these studies, but also refers extensively to a further four important research studies that also reported during the same time period. This research provides an overview of the key messages from 15 studies, distilled to meet the needs of those professionals who seek to utilise such research findings to shape their day-to-day work. These include strategic and operational managers and practitioners, commissioners and providers of services, and policymakers in all those agencies that are required to work together to safeguard children."--Dept. for Education website.

Children's exposure to domestic violence in Australia

Richards K
Canberra : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2011.
Children's 'witnessing' or exposure to domestic violence has been increasingly recognised as a form of child abuse, both in Australia and internationally. Although it is difficult to accurately assess the scope of the problem, research has demonstrated that a substantial amount of domestic violence is witnessed by children. As this paper outlines, witnessing domestic violence can involve a range of incidents, ranging from the child 'only' hearing the violence, to the child being forced to participate in the violence or being used as part of a violent incident. In this paper, current knowledge about the extent of children's exposure to domestic violence in Australia is described, along with the documented impacts that this exposure can have on children. This includes psychological and behavioural impacts, health and socioeconomic impacts, and its link to the intergenerational transmission of violence and re-victimisation. Current legislative and policy initiatives are then described and some community-based programs that have been introduced in Australia to address the problem of children's exposure to domestic violence are highlighted. The paper concludes that initiatives focused on early intervention and holistic approaches to preventing and responding to children's exposure to domestic violence should be considered as part of strategies developed to address this problem. (Publisher abstract)

Child protection Australia 2009-10.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2009/2010 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, characteristics of foster carer households, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care, and Intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate. This report also contains feature sections on mandatory reporting requirements, child protection legislation, policy and practice differences across Australia, recent policy changes, differences in data systems across Australia, and a glossary. In 2009/10, over 187,000 children were the subject of a child protection notification; just over 31,000 children were the subject of a substantiation; around 37,000 children were on care and protection orders; almost 36,000 children were living in out-of-home care; and there were almost 8,050 foster carer households.
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