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Before 1993 the current law covering child abuse was the Children and Young Persons Act 1989 Vic which stated that any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection may notify a protective intervener This system of voluntary reporting was replaced by mandatory reporting with the passing of the Children and Young Persons Further Amendment Act 1993 Vic These amendments were introduced to achieve stricter control over child abuse by compelling certain professionals to report cases of suspected abuse known as mandatory reporting as set out in Section 641C The professionals affected by this act including medical practitioners psychologists nurses teachers and social workers are obliged to report suspected or known cases to Child Protection Victoria Children that were thought to be in need of protection included children who had suffered from or were likely to suffer from physical emotional andor sexual abuse and whose parents were unable to protect the child from such harm If a case is discovered where one of the above professionals failed to report a sanction of ten penalty units can be imposed Before the introduction of the Children And Young Persons Further Amendment Act 1993 Vic the laws concerned with protecting children against all forms of abuse were under constant scrutiny by certain pressure groups In 1987 a public opinion survey Public Attitudes About Child Abuse revealed strong support for the introduction of legislation which would compel professionals to report suspected cases of child abuse In 1988 a report was prepared by The Law Reform Commission of Victoria it recommended the introduction of mandatory reporting In the same year Mr Justice Fogarty was requested by the government to review the functioning of the statutory provisions for child protection services The inquiry was established as a result of a series of articles titled Our Children Our Shame published by The Age which called for Royal Commission
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