Reporting Children at Risk of Significant Harm

Reporting Children at Risk of Significant Harm to the Department of Human Services, Community Services (Formally DOCS)

DV-Child2Mandatory Reporter: Anyone who works with, or deals with children in their work role to deliver health care, welfare, education, children’s services, residential services or law enforcement. If you are a mandatory reporter with current concerns that a child under 16 is at risk of significant harm you are required to report to Community Services (CS).

Mandatory reporting: Mandatory reporters employed in government agencies (Health, Education, Police, & Human Services) can call their Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) for help in identifying whether a case meets the new threshold of risk of significant harm, however if the mandatory reporter guide indicates there is significant harm, you should contact the Child Protection Helpline directly.

The report to CS must be made by telephone to the:

Child Protection Helpline

13 36 27 (24/7)

All Health Workers employed by NSW Health Services are classified as mandatory reporters.

The CWU will advise NSW Health Workers on what action to take and who to talk to about concerns for children at risk.

NSW Health Child Wellbeing Being Unit

1300 480 420

Use a Mandatory Reporter Guidance Tool (MRG) available at

Mandatory reporters employed by non Government organisations or Government Agencies without a CWU will still report matters where they believe a child is at risk of significant harm to the Child Protection Helpline: 13 36 27 (24/7)

You can use the structured decision making tool called a Mandatory Reporter Guidance tool (MRG), available at:

to assist in determining whether a case meets the threshold for suspected risk of significant harm.

All members of the community are able to make a report using the general public number. 13 21 11 (24/7)

Reporting Concerns

These should be current concerns, which mean that at the time you make the report

  • a) you are worried about the safety, well being or welfare of the child and/or
  • b) the child may be at risk now because of their reaction to past abuse.

Helpful information to provide to CS include:

  • Full name, date of birth (or approximate age), address and phone number of the child/ren you are concerned about
  • Full name (including any known aliases), approximate age, address and phone number of the parents or carers
  • A description of the child and their current whereabouts
  • Why you suspect the child is at risk of significant harm (what you have seen, heard or been told)
  • Whether a language or sign interpreter may be required, whether support is required for a person with a disability or an Aboriginal agency is involved.