From 24 January 2010, mandatory reporters are encouraged to use the Mandatory Reporter Guide, to guide their decision making and determine whether or not to report to the Child Protection Helpline under the new risk of significant harm reporting threshold.
The interactive online Mandatory Reporter Guide has been developed to assist front-line mandatory reporters such as police officers, teachers, nurses, social workers, and NGO staff to determine whether a case meets the new risk of significant harm threshold for reporting children and young people at risk in NSW. A PDF version of the Guide is also available for those without internet access. The Mandatory Reporter Guide is updated in response to user feedback. A listing of the differences between the current third edition and the previous edition is available.
The Mandatory Reporter Guide is based on research findings (customised for use in NSW) from the Structured Decision Making model developed by the Childrens Research Center, a US-based non-profit social research organisation. While Structured Decision Making tools have been implemented across the US, Canada, and Australia (South Australia and Queensland), the Mandatory Reporter Guide is the first Structured Decision Making tool to be developed for use across a wide range of non-statutory agencies who deliver services to children, young people, and families.
The Mandatory Reporter Guide was developed after extensive consultation, as well as detailed user acceptance testing.
In November 2009, Dr Raelene Freitag of the Childrens Research Center gave a Mandatory Reporter Guide presentation as part of a workshop for mandatory reporters involved in its development.