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.
The Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG)
Mandatory reporters should use the Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) to help decide whether a child is suspected to be at Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) and a report to the Child Protection Helpline on 13 21 11 should be made.
The MRG is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool intended to complement mandatory reporters' professional judgement and critical thinking. It will be helpful to read Process for completing Mandatory Reporter Guide so you understand how to use it.
The MRG supports mandatory reporters in NSW to:
- determine whether a report to the Child Protection Helpline is needed for concerns about possible abuse or neglect of a child or young person; and
- identify alternative supports for vulnerable children, young people and their families.
The MRG works by posing specific questions that help reporters work systematically through the issues relating to the concerns they have about a child or young person. At the end of the process, a decision report will guide the reporter as to what action to take.
Child Wellbeing Unit
If the concern doesn’t reach the threshold for contacting the helpline, mandatory reporters can consult their manager or professional network. They can also seek assistance from their local Family Referral Service.
Mandatory reporters from NSW Health, NSW Police Force, and Department of Education and Training can also contact their Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) for advice. Read about how a CWU can help.
If you disagree with the MRG outcome
The MRG does not prevent mandatory reporters from taking any course of action they believe is appropriate, or from continuing to support or respond to the needs of the child or young person who is the subject of the report in the course of their work (s.29A of the Care Act).
The MRG incorporates proven design principles that help focus on the most critical pieces of information for the decision at hand through a set of ‘decision trees’ and definitions. It works by posing specific questions in each decision tree that help mandatory reporters work systematically through the issues relating to their concerns about a child or young person. At the end of each decision tree process, a decision report guides mandatory reporters as to what action to take.