Identifying and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect


Child abuse and neglect is an alarmingly common occurrence in many countries around the world. Health care professionals are in a unique position to identify potential child abuse and neglect so many in Australia are required to report such concerns.

This module describes the four main types of child abuse and neglect and the signs and symptoms that might indicate that children are being harmed in this way. It aims to give health care professionals greater confidence in identifying the warning signs of child abuse and neglect, and briefly outlines their obligation to report it to the relevant authorities.

This module does not detail the requirements for mandatory reporters in each state and territory. A separate module – Child Abuse and Neglect: Legal Responsibilities for Mandatory Reporters – is dedicated to this topic.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Be able to describe the four main types of child abuse and neglect.
  • Be able to identify common signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect.
  • Be aware of the moral, professional and legal obligations to report child abuse and neglect.
  • Have an overview of the requirements for mandatory reporting.

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