Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse in Western Australia is governed by the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act). The Children and Community Services Amendment Act 2021 was passed by Parliament on 14 October 2021 and, among other changes, will introduce new mandatory reporter groups. The changes will strengthen the Act to better protect WA’s children from harm as a result of abuse and neglect.
The mandatory reporting amendments implement recommendations of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). In line with Royal Commission recommendations 7.3 and 7.4, the changes will see reporting of child sexual abuse made mandatory for early childhood workers, ministers of religion, out-of-home care workers, registered psychologists, school counsellors and youth justice workers. Assessors appointed under section 125A of the Act and officers of Communities (referred to as Departmental officers) will also become mandatory reporters. The new mandatory reporting groups will be brought into operation in a staged way to make sure they receive the necessary training and support to fulfil their new reporting obligations. The first new reporter group to be introduced will be ministers of religion from 1 November 2022.
Who are mandatory reporters?Show more
In Western Australia, it is mandatory for certain professionals to report a belief of child sexual abuse. Mandatory reporters are:
- nurses and midwives
- police officers
- boarding supervisors.
Mandatory reporters have a legal requirement to report all reasonable beliefs of child sexual abuse to the Department of Communities.
Staged implementation of Mandatory Reporters
|Mandatory Reporter Group||Proposed commencement|
|Minister of religion||1 November 2022|
|Assessor appointed under section 125A of the Act||1 November 2023|
|Departmental officer of the Department of Communities||1 November 2023|
|Out-of-home care worker||1 November 2023|
|School counsellor||1 May 2024|
|Psychologist||1 May 2024|
|Early childhood worker||1 November 2024|
|Youth justice worker||1 May 2025|
Making a reportShow more
You can lodge a written mandatory report using the Department's secure Mandatory Reporting Web System (MRWeb) or download and submit a PDF form.
Further information about lodging a mandatory report can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions about Mandatory Reporting.
Mandatory Reporting Online TrainingShow more
Mandatory Reporting Online Training (CR.007260) has been developed for:
- existing mandatory reporters
- new mandatory reporter groups
- anyone who wants to learn more about mandatory reporting.
Completion of the training will provide:
- a foundation to recognise and report a belief, based on reasonable grounds, that a child has been or is continuing to be sexually abused
- an overview of Western Australia’s child protection system
- information on:
- types and effects of abuse and neglect
- recognising and responding to sexual behaviours displayed by some children
- responding to disclosures of abuse.
The training is divided into three parts and each part has two modules. Each module focuses on a key information area followed by a short quiz. Allow up to two hours to complete the training.
If you are not a Department of Communities staff member
Use a computer that you can return to if you don’t finish the training in one sitting. If you change computer or IP address part way through, your progress will not be saved and you will have to restart the training.
At the end of the training, you will be required to enter some demographic information. Please be aware that by providing the Department of Communities with the optional information asked for in this survey, you are agreeing to its possible use in the following ways:
- as an indicator of how widely the training is being accessed by mandatory reporters, and by which mandatory reporter groups and organisations.
- as feedback on how successful the training is for preparing new mandatory reporters to meet their reporting obligations.
This information will also generate a completion certificate, which will be emailed directly to the email address you provide.
Click here for Mandatory Reporting Online Training (CR.007260).
This link is not for Department of Communities staff and the training does not require a learning management system account to access.
Department of Communities staff
Access the Compass learning management system to do Mandatory Reporting Online Training (CR.007260) and have your completion automatically recorded.