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When is a child in need of protection? (Australian Legal Definitions)

Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection?

In July 2019 the Australian Institute of Family Studies website released a fact sheet to help professionals with the decision about when is a child in need of protection.

As those of us working with families across Australia know the lack of alignment between our various states and territories in Australia causes some variations in the laws that protect children. At the high level there is protection for children in every part of Australia but when you get down to the detail it can be very confusing.

What’s in the resource sheet?

The resource sheet presents a legal definition of ‘a child in need of protection’ under civil legislation in each Australian jurisdiction.  This is very relevant for those of us who are mandatory reporters.

Resource Sheet – Australian Legal Definitions of when a child needs protection

This resource sheet presents the legal definitions of child abuse and neglect as set out in the civil child protection legislation of each Australian jurisdiction. This includes the circumstances in which the jurisdictions are mandated to intervene in the protection of a child, due to risk of harm.

It references some other resource sheets below.

Other resource sheets

What is child abuse and neglect?

This resource sheet explains the 5 main subtypes of child abuse and neglect

1. Physical abuse,

2. emotional abuse,

3. neglect,

4. sexual abuse,

5. exposure to family violence.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect.

This resource sheet identifies obligations regarding mandatory reporting throughout Australia

Responding to Children and Young People’s Disclosures of Abuse.

This resource sheet gives advice about how to respond if a child or young person discloses abuse.

Helplines and Telephone Counselling Services for Children, Young People and Parents.

This resource sheet has a listing of help and advice lines for family members including children and parents who feel that they are not able to cope.

Mediation Institute courses that relate to this area:

– Family Group Conferencing

– Family Dispute Resolution

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