It is now mandatory for people in religious ministry to report concerns regarding the physical and sexual abuse of children with no exception for information obtained during religious confession.

From 17 February 2020, people in religious ministry in Victoria will be legally required to report if they believe a child needs protection from physical injury or sexual abuse.

Teachers, school principals, doctors, nurses, midwives, police officers, out-of-home care workers, youth justice workers, psychologists, school counsellors and early childhood workers are already required to report.

Expanding mandatory reporter groups is an important step in protecting children from abuse and puts into practice a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to better protect children.

The Department of Health and Human Service will support people in religious ministry to understand their legal obligations to report a reasonable belief of child physical and sexual abuse.

Mandated reporters, including people in religious ministry, who fail to make a mandated report could face prosecution.

More information

For more information, see mandatory reporting on the department's Providers website.

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