What happens when I make a report?

Reports made to Community Services are confidential and the reporter’s identity is generally protected by law.

However current legislation allows NSW Police access to the identity of the reporter, if this is needed in connection with the investigation of a serious offence against a child or young person.

The request must come from a senior NSW Police officer and the reporter must be informed that their identity is to be released – unless informing them of the disclosure will prejudice the investigation.

When Community Services receives your report, we are required by law to make an assessment and determination whether the child or young person is actually at risk of significant harm.

The information you provide in a report will inform what further action is needed. Other considerations include the child or family history held by Community Services.

We assess all reports to determine the most appropriate action to ensure the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the child or young person. This might involve talking to the child or young person, their family or other important people in their life (such as relatives, teachers or child carers), or talking to people who work with the child or young person, or their family (such as counsellors, health professionals or family support workers).

Not all reports will lead to further assessment or investigation. This may be because there is insufficient information or reason to believe that the child or young person is at risk of significant harm.

As a reporter, you will be informed about the type of action that will be taken, based on your report.

Feedback on your report

The Child Protection Helpline will inform you in writing whether the report you made meets the threshold of significant harm or not.

Community Services recognises that mandated reporters often have an ongoing service role with the children, young people or families that they have reported to the Helpline.

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