Department of Child Protection Child Protection: Mandatory Reporting Training Site



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Information provision in a mandatory report

What information needs to be provided in a mandatory report?
In order for the Mandatory Reporting Service to assess a child’s safety and determine the most appropriate response, it is important that a mandatory reporter provide as much information as possible.

There are three tiers of information to be provided in a mandatory report:
1. information that must be provided under the legislation
2. information that must be provided, if known
3. other important information.

1. Information that must be provided under the legislation
Information that must be provided in a verbal and written report, under the legislation, includes the:
·  reporter’s name and contact details.
·  name of the child,or, if this is not known, a description of the child.
·  grounds on which the reporter’s belief of child sexual abuse has been formed.

Grounds for belief that the child has been sexually abused
Mandatory reporters must specify the grounds on which they formed the belief that a child has been, or is being, sexually abused. It is important to provide as much detailed information as possible, including:
·  What the child has said or done to suggest they are being sexually abused.
·  If the child has disclosed abuse, what they said happened and who they disclosed to and when.
·  A description of any behaviours and/or interactions with the child that are of concern, including  
   
frequency and severity of behaviours.
·  Whether the child has any injury or medical needs.

2. Information that must be provided, if known
·  The child’s date of birth.
·  The child’s current address.
·  The names of the child’s parents or other responsible persons.

A report is also to contain the following information, to the extent that it is known to the reporter, in respect to any person alleged to be responsible for the sexual abuse:

  • the person's name, contact details and relationship to the child.

3. Other important information
When a mandatory reporter makes a report, the Mandatory Reporting Service may ask for further information about the child and their circumstances. This information does not have to be provided under the legislation, but it can assist in assessing the safety of the child.

For example, the mandatory reporter may be asked to provide information about:
·  The child’s current whereabouts.
·  The telephone number of the child’s current address.
·  The child’s school, day care centre or kindergarten.
·  The child’s cultural background.
·  Whether the child or family needs an interpreter.
·  The child’s family arrangements, such as siblings and carers
·  Whether the child and the child’s family/carers are aware of the report.

What are grounds that form a reasonable belief that the child has been sexually abused?
Grounds that form a reasonable belief of child sexual abuse may include when a child:
·  Has said or done something to suggest they are being or have been sexually abused.
·  Discloses sexual abuse.
·  Exhibits behaviours and/or interactions that are of concern.
·  Exhibits an injury or medical needs that indicate sexual abuse.

A mandatory reporter’s professional judgment which identifies warning signs or possible indicators of child sexual abuse will inform and contribute to ‘reasonable grounds’. See Indicators of child sexual abuse for further information.

Knowledge of child development and consultation with colleagues or other professionals can also contribute to ‘reasonable grounds’.

Note that mandatory reporting legislation is not intended to capture all sexual activity involving children and young people. Reference should be made to age of consent laws in Western Australia in the Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 Chapter XXXI.

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FAQ   
About mandatory reporting legislation  
Making a mandatory report 
After a report is made  
Responding to a child who makes a disclosure  
Confidentiality issues and mandatory reporting  
Indicators of child sexual abuse  
Training and information for mandatory reporters
Additional resources to implement mandatory reporting
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