Mandatory reporting by nurses of child abuse and neglect

Mathews, Benjamin P., Walsh, Kerryann M., & Fraser, Jennifer A. (2006) Mandatory reporting by nurses of child abuse and neglect. Journal of Law and Medicine, 13(4), pp. 505-517.

[img] pending for publisher permission (PDF 217kB)
Accepted Version.
Administrators only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


Most Australian jurisdictions have mandatory reporting legislation to compel members of selected professional groups, including nurses, to report suspicions that a child has been or is likely to be subjected to abuse or neglect. This article details the legal obligations of nurses in each jurisdiction, and highlights differences between jurisdictions. Problematic features of the laws are identified, including the use of ambiguous concepts like 'reasonable' suspicion and 'significant' harm. Literature is reviewed to identify what is known about nurses' legal knowledge, actual reporting practice, and the practical problems that arise for nurses in this context. It is concluded that empirical research needs to be conducted, because it is not known if the laws are practically effective, whether nurses have sufficient training and knowledge of their reporting duties, or what factors influence sound reporting. Such research can inform both the development of sound training systems and recommendations for legal reform.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 5870
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Child abuse and neglect, Australian mandatory reporting laws, nurses, legislation and policy, legislative differences and questions
ISSN: 1320-159X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Current > Schools > School of Law
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Thomson Legal and Regulatory
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 02 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 00:49

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page