Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect by health professionals

Debbie Scott, Jennifer Fraser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


The role of Australian health professionals in reporting child abuse and neglect, in particular medical and nursing personnel, has increased substantially during the past two decades. This chapter discusses key issues related to the recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect by health professionals in Australia. Health professionals, like teachers, police and other professional groups, are variously obligated through policy and legislation to report their knowledge or suspicion of child maltreatment. As well, health services impose policies in line with the legislation specific to their jurisdiction to assist clinical staff in responding when they know of, or have a reasonable suspicion of, harm being caused to a child. In most Australian states and territories, if doctors and nurses know or suspect that a child is, has been or is likely to suffer significant harm, then they have a legal obligation to report this to designated authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect
EditorsBen Mathews, Donald C. Bross
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Netherlands
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796859
ISBN (Print)9789401796842
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameContemporary Issues in Research and Policy
ISSN (Print)2211-9701
ISSN (Electronic)2211-971X


  • child abuse and neglect
  • reporting by health professionals
  • Australia
  • legislation
  • policy
  • clinical issues
  • mandatory reporting
  • paediatric care and child abuse
  • medical care and child abuse
  • nursing care and child abuse

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