Mandatory reporters: What to report and when
Information on how to use the decision tree in the Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) guide, when to report and what you need to report.
If the child or family belongs to a culturally and linguistically diverse community
Culture and experience do influence parenting practices, however it’s critical that reporters maintain a focus on the impact or effects on the child or young person of parental or carer behaviours. Where there are grounds to suspect risk of significant harm from parent or carer behaviours, reporters must take the necessary reporting actions.
Risk of significant harm
Behaviours that are suspected of causing risk of significant harm should not be minimised or dismissed on cultural grounds. Workers must focus on the impact of the behaviour or practice on the child or young person and ask “does this cause or threaten significant harm”?
Different or unfamiliar practices
However, it is important to note that behaviours and practices that are influenced by culture should not be reported simply because that they are different or unfamiliar to the reporter. Practices should not be reported where they do not cause significant harm or place the child or young person at risk of significant harm.
Reporters with information about the possible bearing of cultural, linguistic, refugee, migration or settlement factors on the case are encouraged to provide this information as part of their report to the Child Protection Helpline. It can assist in the subsequent assessment and appropriate follow up of the case.