Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Marginalised Families, Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect

C Davis, H Douglas, 'Selective Reduction of Fetuses in Multiple Pregnancies and the Law in Australia' (2014) 22 Journal of Law and Medicine 155-173

Posted: 14 Apr 2016

See all articles by Heather Douglas

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Tamara Walsh

University of Queensland

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The introduction of laws requiring the mandatory reporting of serious child abuse and neglect, usually by professionals, has received significant attention, and many researchers have considered the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory reporting (Mathews and Bross 2008 ; Melton 2005). One advantage, it has been argued, is that the requirement sends a strong message that child abuse will not be tolerated (Takis 2008, p. 126). Other advantages include that it raises awareness of child abuse (Cashmore 2002, p. 9) and that it resolves conflict for some about whether or not to report incidents (Australian Law Reform Commission1997, p. 435; Tomison 2002a, p. 17). Mandatory reporting laws can ensure that cases of child abuse are brought to the attention of child protection authorities so that further harm may be prevented and services can be provided, especially in cases where, without such laws, the family would remain hidden (Mathews and Bross 2008 p. 515; Cashmore 2002, p. 9). It has also been pointed out that reporting of child abuse by clinicians is consistent with other duties to report, for example, suicide risk and homicide risk (Wekerle 2013, p. 93).

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Heather and Walsh, Tamara, Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Marginalised Families, Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Identification of Severe Child Abuse and Neglect (2014). C Davis, H Douglas, 'Selective Reduction of Fetuses in Multiple Pregnancies and the Law in Australia' (2014) 22 Journal of Law and Medicine 155-173 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764770

Heather Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Tamara Walsh

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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