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Obligations of mandatory notifiers and child safe organisations

As outlined in the guidelines for mandated notifiers (PDF 1.2MB), certain people have a legal obligation to report suspicion that a child or young person is, or may be, at risk, where this suspicion occurs in the course of their work or when carrying out official duties.

Mandated notifiers

Mandated notifiers are legally required to notify the Department for Child Protection if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is, or may be at risk.

Under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, the following people are mandated notifiers:

  • health practitioners
  • pharmacists
  • registered or enrolled nurses
  • dentists
  • psychologists
  • police officers
  • community corrections officers
  • social workers
  • ministers of religion
  • employees of, or volunteers in, an organisation formed for religious or spiritual purposes
  • teachers in an educational setting, including:
    • schools
    • preschool
    • kindergarten
  • any other person who is an employee of, or volunteer in, an organisation that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, child care or residential services wholly or partly for children, being a person who:
    • provides such services directly to children or young people; or
    • holds a management position in the organisation, the duties of which include direct responsibility for, or direct supervision of, the provision of those services to children and young people
  • any other person prescribed by the regulations.

Policies and procedures

Organisations must have in place policies and procedures to ensure that mandated notifiers make appropriate reports if they suspect that a child or young person is, or may be at risk. 

Policies and procedures should include:

  • adequate information to help people identify when children and young people may be at risk and procedures for reporting this
  • what support is available for children and young people, staff and volunteers when a report is made
  • procedures for dealing with concerns of children or young people at risk perpetrated by an employee or volunteer.

Training

Some organisations offer formal mandatory notification training for staff and volunteers as best practice.

Training options

Organisations can also have an employee complete a train the trainer workshop and become qualified to deliver training  to other staff and volunteers.

When offering formal training for everyone in the organisation is not feasible, other strategies organisations can put in place include:

  • offering formal training only to employees who regularly work with children or young people
  • ensuring all staff and volunteers have read and have access to the guidelines for mandated notifiers (PDF 1.2MB)
  • including child protection as a standing item on team meeting agendas
  • sharing relevant articles or information about issues relating to child protection.

Contact

Child safe environments

Phone: 8463 6468
Email: educationchildsafe [at] sa.gov.au