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Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect : legislative developments and questions for future direction

Mathews, Benjamin P., Walsh, Kerryann M., Farrell, Ann, & Butler, Desmond A. (2006) Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect : legislative developments and questions for future direction. In Protect All Children Today Conference, September 2006, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The evolution of Australian mandatory reporting laws requiring members of selected professional groups to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities has a chequered history. Even now, there are several different legislative models in Australia’s eight jurisdictions, with significant differences in who is compelled to report, and which cases activate the reporting obligations. As well, little empirical research has been conducted into the impact of the different laws on reporting practice, although the research that has been done indicates problems that may produce significant occurrences of failure to report deserving cases, and significant numbers of unjustified reports. Therefore, research needs to be done to thoroughly assess the impact of the different laws on reporting practice, and to assess mandated reporter preparation and reporting practice throughout Australia, to establish an evidence base concerning the most effective mandatory reporting law, practice and training. This paper will describe the Australian context of mandatory reporting. It will summarise evidence about the incidence of child abuse and neglect in Australia, and will then explain the parameters of the different legislative reporting models, isolating areas of inconsistency and ambiguity that appear to impede effective early intervention. Finally, it will identify some of the gaps in the research in this field, and describe some of the most significant current research in the field.

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ID Code: 17846
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Law, Child abuse and neglect, Legislation, Public policy
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2009 15:13
Last Modified: 12 May 2011 11:52

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