Mandatory reporting expands in Victoria
In Victoria, the list of professionals who are mandated to report information about suspected child abuse or harm will expand, effective 1 March 2019, state Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos has announced.
Currently, Victorian teachers and early childhood teachers are mandated to notify about suspected abuse or neglect, with other professionals, such as those holding a Diploma or Certificate 3 in Children’s Services, not being mandated to notify, except in the circumstance of sexual abuse.
From 1 March 2019, the list of mandatory reporters to child protection will be expanded to include those who work in out of home care (excluding voluntary foster and kinship carers), early childhood and youth justice, as well as registered psychologists.
Mandatory reporting refers to the legal requirement for certain professionals to report a reasonable belief of child physical or sexual abuse to child protection authorities. Currently, teachers (including early childhood teachers), school principals, doctors, nurses, midwives, and police officers who believe a child is being physically or sexually abused are required to report this to the authorities. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
Ms Mikakos said that training would be provided to each of the professional groups affected by the change, to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations.
This work to introduce additional mandatory reporter groups will acquit recommendations 7.3 and 7.4 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to mandate a minimum set of mandatory reporters.
“We are doing everything we can to protect future generations of children from abuse – and there will be no excuses for anyone who works with children and young people not to report,” Ms Mikakos said