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What is mandatory reporting?

There are a number of situations where community workers are compelled to make a report about client circumstances. This must be differentiated from cases where a community worker may have a duty to warn. The difference between the two situations is in the duty to warn scenario, the community worker takes a position that ethical obligations override the duty of confidentiality owed to the client, whereas in reporting matters, the worker is in a position where legal obligations override the duty of confidentiality owed to the client.

The Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) at section 148 requires that a responsible person who becomes aware or reasonably suspects harm must report that to the Chief Executive of the Department of Child Safety. This is a good example of mandatory reporting provisions.