Not necessarily. The legislation provides that the identity of anyone reporting be safeguarded and to reveal that identity is to risk consequences (eg. a fine) and for all reports to undergo the same process so, in essence, mandatory notifiers are lumped in with the public. The difference between the former is that they have to do it, whereas the latter don't. Also, if your neighbour happens to be a teacher and they report you that still stands as a mandatory notification. They don't have to be in a classroom in the act of teaching to be able to notify. The legislation relies on them to come to a reasonable conclusion that your child is being abused. Obviously, what is reasonable then comes into play.I understand the point you're making, but surely these 'vindictive parties' are more likely to be people known to the family ie friends, extended family in disputes, neighbours etc rather than those whose employment in a professional capacity mandates them to notify? So, in that context it isn't the same as mandated notification? Just trying to clarify your post a little.
I guess my take on it is that I can see where the cracks are and how mandatory notifying is open to abuse itself. And from a DOCS point of view I can see how the open ended nature of mandatory reporting impacts heavily on their already heavy workload. I think it's all very well to demand mandatory notification but it's a different story when you're unfairly impacted as what was outlined in the other thread and what some other posters have outlined in here.
A preliminary screening process would be something worthwhile considering I think.
But then again, the government seems to be more enamoured of rich blokes donating $65 million to a university than it does to setting up viable avenues for protecting our vulnerable members of society.
Thanks. I think I'm with you now! I guess I was referring to the topic of this thread by focussing on the 'mandatory' aspect of it, rather than that any Joe Public can ring DOCS and make reports as well. And I guess I am a little naive maybe by trusting that people who are trained and mandated notifiers wouldn't abuse that by being vindictive, which is the part of your post I was picking up on.thanks again for clarifying.
One of today's threads on here totally cemented that for me and I've been thinking about this general topic all day and have felt quite upset after reading about a disturbing case that was brought up in that thread. I wish I hadn't read it tbh.
Two words- Daniel Valerio..... He was seen by multiple health professionals in the lead up to his death. By the time DHS became involved it was too late- he was dead a few days later. If it saves one child bring tortured or abused for months then it's a good thing. Yes I am a mandatory reporter and I don't hesitate to report any cases of abuse or potential abuse and I have been reported for having a child with severe malnutrition- after an extensive investigation DHS found I had done everything right (health nurse visits weekly, GP visits every 2-3 days, 4 Paed visits etc- my child was found to have a severe intolerance issue). Yes it hurt like hell to know they thought I was hurting my baby but at least I know they cared
ive been there. Its not nice.
I hated it.
BUT, They have a job to do, and if they can do it quickly its alot better for everyone involved. They can move on and tend to those who really need it if theres nothing of concern where you are. As was the case with us
Last edited by shadowangel0205; 23-10-2013 at 00:10.
The impetus behind the Valerio case was to train teachers to recognise abuse and to be legally compelled to report it because the Principal of the school Daniel's sister attended was charged and fined for her failure to act. Mandatory reporting was then instilled to prevent the teaching profession from being vilified or left in legal limbo.
Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped kids from being tortured or killed.
As an aside, Daniel's killer, his stepfather Paul Aiton, was released (early) in January 2011 and continues to live his life without remorse for his crime.
As I said in another thread, in cases like this the death penalty is justified.
By making 'normal' not 'mandatory' reports not anonymous it runs a true risk of people being too frightened to get involved and report, that makes my blood run cold.
I'm just 100% for the kids that don't have a voice.
happy wanderer (22-10-2013)
I really agree that the most important thing is keeping kids safe, and I myself have reported someone in the past for neglect, it also sucks that someone can make such far fetched unfouneed claims (not talking about mandatory reporters here, just general public) as payback for something else, and get away with it. If you make a false report to the police about something you can get in trouble for it, yet you can report someone and say they are abusing their kids when they're not even remotely close to abusing them and just have a laugh and get away with it.
But there isnt a way to make the system perfect so there isnt really a solution and I wouldn't want to see any laws introduced that may make saving kids who are actually at risk, any harder.
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