4.1 Mandatory Reporting to the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ)
4.1.1 SCS is required to report to DCJ when there are concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a child or when it is suspected that a child is at Risk of Significant Harm (RoSH). RoSH concerns should be reported to the Principal who holds the delegated responsibility for assessing the concerns. Such reports are also required to be made in relation to concerns about young people as part of a staff member’s duty of care obligations to all students.
4.1.2 A report must be made by the Principal or SCS Manager to DCJ when there are concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a child or young person for any of the following reasons:
• the basic physical or psychological needs of the child or young person are not being met (neglect)
• parents/carers have not arranged necessary medical care for the child or young person (unwilling or unable to do so)
• parents/carers have not arranged for the child or young person to receive an education in accordance with the Education Act 1990 (NSW) (unwilling or
unable to do so)
• risk of physical or sexual abuse, or ill-treatment
• parent/carers’ behaviour towards the child or young person causes or risks serious psychological harm (emotional abuse)
• incidents of domestic violence and, as a consequence, a child or young person is at risk of serious physical or psychological harm (domestic or family
• the child was the subject in a pre-natal report and the birth mother did not engage successfully with support services.
4.1.3 Mandatory reporters are required by law to report to DCJ if they suspect that a child is at RoSH. Determining if a child is at ROSH can include, but is not limited to, the following reasons:
• The circumstances cause concern to a significant extent
• The concern is not minor or trivial
• There is a reasonable expectation of a substantial and demonstrably adverse impact on a child or young person’s safety, welfare or wellbeing.
4.1.4 Reports may relate to either ‘significant harm’ or ‘accumulative harm’:
• ‘Significant Harm’ can relate to a single act or omission or an accumulation of matters that require reporting. For example, a single act could be a report of a
“one off” black eye from being punched in the face.
• ‘Accumulative Harm’ can require reporting and is present when there has been a pattern of lower level safety concerns. For example, multiple unexplained
bruises observed on a child who is also regularly away from school.
4.1.5 If a staff member has a concern in relation to the safety, welfare and/or wellbeing of a child or young person, and when they suspect that a child is at RoSH they are required to immediately report the concern to the school Principal / SCS Manager.
4.1.6 In determining whether a concern necessitates mandatory reporting to DCJ, the Principal or SCS Manager may seek the support of one or more of the following:
• the NSW Government Mandatory Reporter Guide
• SCS’ Child Safety Team on (02) 9568 8298
• the SCS Student Wellbeing & Learning Team on (02) 9568 8485
4.1.7 All concerns which require mandatory reporting will be reported to DCJ by the Principal/ SCS Manager, using the online form or by phone to 132 111.
4.1.8 The Principal/SCS Manager making the report must email a copy of the RoSH Report to the SCS Child Safety Team at email@example.com,
4.1.9 All staff in face to face work with children and young people should complete annual training in child protection which includes information on legislated Mandatory Reporting obligations.
4.2 Mandatory Reporting to NSW Police
4.2.1 If a staff member identifies a concern in relation to the safety, welfare and/or wellbeing of a child or young person, they are required to immediately report the concern to the school Principal/SCS Manager.
4.2.2 The Principal/SCS Manager may determine that it is necessary to report the concern to the NSW Police in addition to DCJ.
4.2.3 In determining whether a report should be made to NSW Police, the Principal/SCS Manager may contact the SCS Child Safety Team on (02) 9568 8298 or at firstname.lastname@example.org,.
4.2.4 The NSW Police should be contacted prior to DCJ where there is an imminent threat, danger or risk of immediate harm to any person, including to the child or young person, or to an SCS staff member, or any other person.
4.2.5 The circumstances in which a report to NSW Police should be made include, but are not limited to:
• where a concern may constitute or involve a criminal offence; and/or
• where there is an imminent threat, danger or risk of immediate harm to any person including to a child, young person or SCS staff member. In this case the
Principal/SCS Manager will make the report to Emergency Services via 000 where police attendance is required, as a matter of urgency
• where there is no imminent threat to any person, the Principal /SCS Manager will contact and report the matter through the school’s allocated police liaison
• where the police liaison officer is not available, the Principal/SCS Manager will contact the Police Area Command (PAC) to make the report.
4.2.6 The Principal/SCS Manager making the report is required to email the police report number and details of the report to the SCS Child Safety Team at email@example.com.
4.3.1 Any concern raised in relation to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child and / or young person is confidential. No staff member is to disclose any concern to any person outside of the school Principal/SCS Manager or in their absence, to the most senior person
available on site.
4.3.2 Mandatory reports to DCJ or NSW Police made by a Principal/SCS Manager are confidential and should not be disclosed to any person outside of the SCS Child Safety Team, the Student Wellbeing Team and any other relevant personnel without the permission of DCJ and/or NSW Police respectively.
4.3.3 Parents/carers of the child or young person about whom the concern has been raised should not contact SCS for any information regarding the report. Families involved must be directed to discuss such matters directly with DCJ and/or the NSW Police.
4.3.4 The Principal/SCS Manager may determine that a concern needs to be disclosed to a particular SCS staff member in order to support the needs of the student at school (for example, informing the class teacher or school counsellor).
4.4 Students over the age of 18
4.4.1 An allegation or concern involving a student who is 18 years of age (and therefore does not meet the definition of a child or young person) is not subject to the requirements for Mandatory Reporting to DCJ.
4.4.2 However if the allegation or concern constitutes a serious crime (indictable offence of 5 years imprisonment) the Mandatory Reporting to Police provisions in section 4.2 apply. SCS will also consider whether the matter is required to be investigated in accordance with the Child Protection: Responding to Allegations and Complaints against SCS Staff Policy.
4.5 Support for students
4.5.1 If a staff member identifies a concern in relation to the safety, welfare and/or wellbeing of a student, the student will be provided with the opportunity to access appropriate supports which may include one or more of the following:
• school based counselling where a local school counsellor is employed
• Student Wellbeing & Learning Team support
• referral to appropriate external support agencies for the student and/or family
• risk assessment and/or
• return to school plan, counselling support plan, or individual adjustment plan.