The Children’s Guardian Act 2019 passed the NSW parliament on November 2019 and comes into force on 1 March 2020. This act covers a number of areas, primarily related to the Office of the Children’s Guardian.
In addition, the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW) included amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) which expand the application of mandatory reporting requirements to include most staff and volunteers in churches.
The new Section 27(1)(c) defines ‘a person in religious ministry, or a person providing religion-based activities to children’ as a mandatory reporter.
Mandatory reporters must make a report to the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm. Creating Safe Spaces training provides more information on the definition of ‘risk of significant harm’ and the application of mandatory reporting requirements.