when must I make a report?
You must make a report to Community Services when you have current concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a child for any of the following reasons:
- the basic physical or psychological needs of the child or young person are not being met (neglect)
- the parents or caregivers have not arranged necessary medical care (unwilling or unable to do so)
- risk of physical or sexual abuse or ill-treatment (physical or sexual abuse)
- parent or caregiver’s behaviour towards the child causes or risks psychological harm (emotional abuse)
- incidents of domestic violence and as a consequence a child is at risk of serious physical or psychological harm (domestic or family violence).
See more on signs of abuse.
To help reporters decide whether a case needs to be reported to the Child Protection Helpline, reporters can use the online Mandatory Reporter Guide.
The Guide works by posing specific questions that help reporters work systematically through the issues relating to concerns they have about a child or young person.
At the end of the process, a decision report will guide the reporter as to what action to take.
A PDF version of the Mandatory Reporter Guide is also available.
Mandatory reporters from Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Housing NSW and Juvenile Justice in the Department of Family and Community Services, NSW Health, NSW Police Force and Department of Education and Training can also contact their Child Wellbeing Unit for advice.
Keep Them Safe Support Line closed
The FACS Child Wellbeing Unit support line and the Keep Them Safe (KTS) support line for NGOs will stop taking calls at 4pm on Friday, 28 June. The Unit will cease all operations on 28 June. This decision was made due to significantly lower call volumes than expected.
Mandatory reporters are advised to use the Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) to identify whether a child is at suspected Risk of Significant Harm and whether they need to contact the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111.
If the concern does not reach the threshold for contacting the Helpline mandatory reporters can consult their manager or professional network. They can also seek assistance from their local Family Referral Service.
Under- utilisation of the CWU led to the decision that resources can be better used implementing a system that delivers local, on-the-ground services for mandatory reporters and families.
FACS is currently working in collaboration with NSW Kids and Families and the Family Referral Services to provide a more integrated and better informed information and referral system for vulnerable families. The aim is to use the expertise of FACS caseworkers to ensure that vulnerabilities in families are identified early and that they are referred to the right services. This is to support mandatory reporters to make better and more timely use of local service systems.