Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse expanded to better protect children

News story
From 1 November 2023, out-of-home care workers, assessors and Department of Communities officers are legally required to report child sexual abuse.
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It is now mandatory for departmental officers of the Department of Communities (Communities), out-of-home care workers, and assessors appointed under section 125A of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 to report child sexual abuse to Communities’ Mandatory Reporting Service.

They are part of the eight new mandatory reporter groups being implemented through a staggered approach following the passing of the Children and Community Services Amendment Act 2021. Over the next two years, mandatory reporter groups in Western Australia will be further expanded to include early childhood workers, registered psychologists, school counsellors and youth justice workers.

The expansion is being managed in stages to ensure each group receives the necessary training and support to fulfil their new reporting obligations. To further support this, Communities has free mandatory reporter online training to prepare reporter groups for their commencement dates.

For more information and to access free mandatory reporter online training, visit Mandatory Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse in WA.

Any person with concerns about a child’s wellbeing is urged to notify Communities, regardless of whether that person is a mandatory reporter. This enables authorities to assess the circumstances and take action to protect the child and other children where necessary. Life-threatening concerns about a child should be reported to the police on 000.