Someone can make a report to the Department
Anyone who is concerned that children may be at risk of harm can tell the Department about their concerns. This is called making a report.
Reports can also be made when someone is pregnant, before they have a baby.
Reports may be made if children are:
- exposed to domestic and family violence
- at risk of physical, sexual or psychological or emotional abuse
- at risk of neglect
- exposed to illegal drug use or excessive alcohol use.
The law says some people must make a report
Some people like police, school teachers, nurses and doctors are ‘mandatory reporters.’ This means if they think children are at risk of harm, the law says they must tell the Department. The laws that say who must report children at risk to the Department are different in each State and Territory.
Other people like friends, family or neighbours may contact the Department if they are worried about your children’s safety.
Mostly, you won’t know that someone has made a report about your family unless the Department investigates that report. The identity of who made the report is generally kept confidential.
When the Department gets a report, they may investigate to find out if there are any risks to your children’s safety, and how they can help to keep them safe. They don’t investigate every report.
For more information, see resources.