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 for the child or young person (unwilling or unable to do so)
  • the parents or caregivers have not arranged for the child or young person to receive an education in accordance with the Education Act 1990 (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 serious psychological harm (emotional abuse)
  • incidents of domestic violence and as a consequence a child or young person is at risk of serious physical or psychological harm (domestic or family violence)
  • the child was the subject in a pre-natal report and the birth mother did not engage successfully with support services.

See more on signs of abuse.

Mandatory Reporter Guide

To help reporters decide whether a case needs to be reported to the Child Protection Helpline, reporters can use the online Mandatory Reporter Guide.

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.

A PDF version of the Mandatory Reporter Guide is also available.

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.

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.

Mandatory reporters from NSW Health, NSW Police Force and Department of Education and Training can also contact their Child Wellbeing Unit for advice.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)