State Legislation & Reporting - TAS
The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for overseeing and upholding child protection in Tasmania. Numerous Acts (laws) help to govern and guide the process of child protection in Tasmania. These acts include:
- Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1997 ( as amended 2009)
Other relevant Acts:
- The Family Violence Act 2004
- Family Law Act 1975
You can find further information on legislative reform of child protection in Tasmania on Department of Health and Human Services website.
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 email@example.com
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 14(1) of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1997 lists the following people as mandated to report:
- registered medical practitioner
- nurse, within the meaning of the Nursing Act 1995
- person who is registered as a dentist, dental therapist or dental hygienist under the Dental Practitioners Registration Act 2001
- registered psychologist, within the meaning of the Psychologists Registration Act 2000
- police officer
- departmental employee, within the meaning of the Police Regulation Act 1898
- probation officer appointed or employed under section 5 of the Corrections Act 1997
- principal and a teacher in any educational institution (including a kindergarten)
- person who provides child care, or a child care service, for fee or reward
- person concerned in the management of a child care service licensed under the Child Care Act 2001
- any other person who is employed or engaged as an employee for, of or in, or who is a volunteer in;
- Government Agency that provides health, welfare, education, child care or residential services wholly or partly for children; and
- an organisation that receives funding from the Crown for the provision of such services
- any other person of a class determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be prescribed (mandated) persons.
Section 14(2) of the Act states that if a mandated, or as defined by the Act, prescribed person, in carrying out official duties or in the course of his or her work (whether paid or voluntary), believes, or suspects, on reasonable grounds, or knows:
- that a child has been or is being abused or neglected or is an affected child within the meaning of the Family Violence Act 2004; or
- that there is a reasonable likelihood of a child being killed or abused or neglected by a person with whom the child resides
The prescribed person must inform the Secretary or a Community-Based Intake Service of that belief, suspicion or knowledge as soon as practicable after he or she forms the belief or suspicion or gains the knowledge.
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:
Protection Intake (Statewide): 1300 737 639
Child Protection Services:
North West: (03) 6434 6246
North: (03) 6336 2376
South West: (03) 6230 7650
South East: (03) 6230 7833
Alternatively, to discuss any difficulties you may be having or any concerns that you might feel towards the wellbeing of a child you know, you can contact:
National Child Abuse Helpline: 1800 99 10 99. This helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm AEST.
Gateway: 1800 171 233. Operates Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm AEST.
For more information , visit the Child Protection Services page
on the Department of Health and Human Services website. There are
also support services across Tasmania that can assist and advise you
through the process of making a report. For more information, visit
our Support Services page.