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CRC funded reports

Executive summary

published in:
Family violence : young people and youth sector workers, informing government about the implementation of mandatory reporting in Victoria
Danny Sandor and Julian Bondy
ISBN 07311 0575 3
Fitzroy, Vic. : Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, 1995
Criminology Research Council grant ; (15/93-4)
October 1995

Executive summary

Introduction

This study questioned young people and youth sector workers about various aspects of new Victorian mandatory reporting laws. Focus groups were conducted by peer researchers with 163 young people comprising a mix of those who had experienced and had not experienced protective intervention, and a specially designed self-report survey was administered to 150 workers drawn from the membership of the peak youth affairs body for the State.

Key findings of the Survey of Youth Sector Workers

Key findings of the Focus Groups with Young People.

Recommendations

  1. Legislative and Administrative Changes
    1. H & CS should prepare and issue administrative guidelines placing a positive expectation upon notifiers and protective interveners to act in accordance with the wishes of young people aged 14 years and above.
    2. that the government not proceed at this stage to gazette youth workers.
  2. Training
    1. That specific training be provided to youth workers irrespective of their status in relation to the legislative requirements of the Victorian mandatory reporting legislation. it is also recommended that the content areas for this training be identified from this research.
  3. Information
    1. There should be a range of age appropriate materials explaining the meaning and consequences of mandatory reporting to young people and their rights when protective investigation is to be triggered or has been triggered. The process of preparing such material should also serve as a mechanism for making clear the applicability of those rights.
    2. Printed material in relation to recommendation i should be available in schools, hospitals, doctors' and dentists' surgeries, department of social security, commonwealth employment services, train stations.
    3. Creative audio-visual approaches to enhancing young people's knowledge and understanding should be canvassed.
  4. Program Initiatives
    1. Establishment of a statewide advisory line for young people and those who want to provide support to them
    2. The development of a targeted peer education program.
  5. Research
    1. The focus group method used in this project should be replicated with specific attention to the experience of indigenous and non-English speaking background young people.
    2. There should be an assessment of actual youth sector worker practices in the management of adolescent abuse disclosures.

The report concludes with a list of key target audiences for the document.

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