State Legislation & Reporting - VIC
The Department of Human Services is responsible for overseeing and upholding child protection in Victoria. Numerous Acts (laws) help to govern and guide the process of child protection in Victoria. These acts include:
Other relevant Acts:
To see other laws and acts relevant to children, youth and families please see the Legislation section of the Department of Human Services website for more information.
New Victorian Child Safe Standards were introduced on 1 January 2016 and come into effect on 1 January 2017. For information on the Child Safe Standards, visit the Department of Human Services website.
For a useful overview of all issues relating to child sexual abuse and child protection mechanisms in Victoria, see Protecting the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young people, a report released in 2010 by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Reporting Child Abuse
What is reportable?
Outcomes or actions from which children are in need of protection include; neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence and psychological harm. These are all reportable offences.
What are reasonable grounds?
You do not need to have proof to report any concerns you have about the safety of a child under 16. Indicators that represent reasonable grounds to report a suspected offence include:
- a child or young person discloses that he or she has suffered or is suffering non accidental physical injury or sexual abuse
- someone else advises you that a child or young person has been sexually abused or non-accidentally injured, or
- your own observations of the child or young person’s physical condition or behaviours lead you to reasonably suspect that the child or young person has suffered or is suffering non-accidental physical injury or sexual abuse.
For more information, you can email one of our qualified staff at Child Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, the Department of Human Services Child Protection in conjunction with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development have also provided a step-by-step guide to making a report.
What is mandatory reporting and who is mandated to report suspected abuse?
Mandatory reporting describes the legal obligation of certain professionals and community members to report incidences of child sexual abuse. These people are called mandated reporters. If the mandated reporters fail to report they may be fined and/or incarcerated.
Section 182 (1) of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005(as amended in 2011) lists the following people as mandated to report:
- registered medical practitioner
- person who is registered as a teacher under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 or has been granted permission to teach under the Act
- the principal of a Government school or non-Government school within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
- member of the police force
For more information on mandatory reporting of all state and territories, visit the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.
Who to report to and how
If you need to report an offence that requires immediate police attention, please call Police: 000
you suspect on reasonable grounds that a child is suffering abuse or
neglect or you wish to discuss your concerns about a child or young
person, you should telephone:
Child Protection Crisis Line: 131 278 or 1800 212 936. This hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
National Child Abuse Helpline: 1800 99 10 99. This helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm AEST.
There are also support services across Victoria that can assist and advise you through the process of making a report. For more information, visit our Support Services page.