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Obligations of mandatory notifiers and child safe organisations

As outlined in the guidelines for mandated notifiers (PDF 1.2MB), certain people have a legal obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect, where this suspicion occurs in the course of their work or when carrying out official duties.

Mandated notifiers

Mandated notifiers are legally required to notify the Department for Child Protection if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is being, or has been, abused or neglected.

Under the Children’s Protection Act 1993, the following people are mandated notifiers:

  • medical practitioners
  • pharmacists
  • registered or enrolled nurses
  • dentists
  • psychologists
  • police officers
  • community corrections officers
  • social workers
  • ministers of religion
  • employees of, or volunteer in, an organisation formed for religious or spiritual purposes
  • teachers in an educational institution (including a kindergarten)
  • approved family day care providers
  • any other person who is an employee of, or volunteer in, a government or non-government organisation that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, child care or residential services wholly or partly for children, being a person who:
    • is engaged in the actual delivery of those services to children; or
    • holds a management position in the relevant organisation the duties of which include direct responsibility for, or direct supervision of, the provision of those services to children.

Policies and procedures

Organisations must have in place policies and/or procedures to ensure that appropriate reports of suspected child abuse or neglect are made by mandated notifiers.

Policies and procedures should include:

  • adequate information to help people identify children at risk of harm and procedures for reporting suspected abuse or neglect
  • what support is available for children, staff and volunteers when a report is made
  • procedures for dealing with concerns of abuse or neglect perpetrated by an employee or volunteer.

Training

Some organisations offer formal mandatory notification training for staff and volunteers as best practice.

Organisations can also have an employee complete a train the trainer (DOC 3.6MB) workshop and become qualified to deliver training  to other staff and volunteers.

When offering formal training for everyone in the organisation is not feasible, organisations may consider:

  • offering formal training only to employees who regularly work with children or young people
  • ensuring all staff and volunteers have read and have access to the guidelines for mandated notifiers (PDF 1.2MB)
  • including child protection as a standing item on team meeting agendas
  • sharing relevant articles or information about issues relating to child protection.

Training options

Contact

Child Safe Environments

Phone: 8463 6468
Email: decdchildsafe [at] sa.gov.au