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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.

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Abstract

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.

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3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 5870
Item Type: Journal Article
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 > Schools > School of Early Childhood
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
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:23

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