In the Northern Territory any person who believes that a child is being, or has been, abused or neglected is required by law to report their concerns.
Reports should be made to the 24 hour Centralised Intake Service by using the free-call phone number 1800 700 250.
Remember, you do not need to prove abuse or neglect, you need only report your concerns. The Care and Protection of Children Act provides legal protection against civil or criminal liability for people who make reports in good faith.
The Act also makes it clear that making a report does not breach any requirements of confidentiality or professional ethics.
Every year Northern Territory Families and Children's Child Protection Branch takes over 3000 phone calls from people who are concerned about the care that a child is receiving.
All of these calls are subject to a thorough assessment process. About 1400 of these calls lead to further investigation of the child's circumstances and about half of those investigations confirm that the child concerned has been abused or neglected.
In most cases where abuse or neglect has been confirmed ('substantiated') the child's family will be offered services to help them to improve the way they are caring for their child. In a minority of cases it may be found that a child's parents are unable or unwilling to protect their child from harm and alternative arrangements will need to be made for the care of that child.