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Mandatory reporting needs increased resourcing

1 February 2012

Mandatory reporting needs increased resourcing

Any move to mandatory reporting on possible child abuse or neglect must come with an increase in funding and resourcing to Child, Youth and Family and the community agencies that work alongside it, says the PSA.

The Government’s discussion paper on vulnerable children proposes greater information-sharing and mandatory reporting by professionals of possible neglect and child abuse.

“If teachers, doctors, nurses and other professionals are legally required to report on possible cases of neglect or abuse, notifications to Child, Youth and Family will increase dramatically,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“All of these extra notifications will need to be investigated by CYF social workers to assess whether further action is required.

“Mandatory reporting must be backed up with adequate resources. If no extra social work resources are put in place, mandatory reporting will fail to impact on this country’s shameful record of child abuse and neglect.

Professionals also need to be educated and reassured that they are only obliged to report their concerns about neglect or possible abuse and are not being asked to investigate on behalf of Child, Youth and Family.

“Staff at Child, Youth and Family are already under pressure from stretched workloads. Community agencies will also be under pressure.

“Without extra resources, any solutions that come out of the Government’s discussion on vulnerable children could be in danger of remaining nothing more than good intentions,” says Brenda Pilott.

ENDS

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