Mandating a person
In all jurisdictions, the legislation protects the reporter's identity from disclosure.In addition, the legislation provides that as long as the report is made in good faith, the reporter cannot be liable in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.Legislation in all jurisdictions except New South Wales requires mandatory reporting in relation to all young people up to the age of 18 years (whether they use the terms "children" or "children and young people").In New South Wales, the legislative grounds for intervention cover young people up to 18 years of age, but it is not mandatory to report suspicions of risk of harm in relation to young people aged 16 and 17 years.
In other jurisdictions it is mandatory to report only some of the abuse types (e.g., Vic., ACT).The groups of people mandated to notify cases of suspected child abuse and neglect range from persons in a limited number of occupations (e.g., Qld), to a more extensive list (Vic., WA), to a very extensive list (ACT, NSW, SA, Tas.), through to every adult (NT; and Vic. The occupations most commonly named as mandated reporters are those who deal frequently with children in the course of their work: teachers, doctors, nurses and police.In addition to differences describing who is a mandated reporter across jurisdictions, there are differences in the types of abuse and neglect that must be reported.Reflecting the original intention of the laws, the duty does not apply to any instance ofl "abuse" or "neglect" but only to cases that are of sufficiently significant harm to the child's health or wellbeing to warrant intervention or service provision.
However, reflecting the qualitative differences presented by sexual abuse as opposed to other forms of abuse and neglect, five jurisdictions apply the reporting duty to all suspected cases of sexual abuse without requiring the reporter to exercise any discretion about the extent of harm that may have been caused or that may be likely (ACT, NT, SA, Tas., WA).
It is important to note that the duty to report also applies to suspicions that significant abuse or neglect is likely to occur in the future, not only suspected cases of significant abuse or neglect that have already happened.