In light of recent child abuse scandals, calls have been made for mandatory child abuse reporting to be introduced in the UK. The sharing of personal data is acknowledged as being crucial for the prevention and detection of child abuse; yet reluctance to share personal data has been a factor in recent failures to detect organised and institutional abuse. † The US, Australia and the Republic of Ireland all have mandatory reporting regimes. Much can be learned from their experiences including how these regimes have balanced privacy and confidentiality with the public interest in investigating child abuse. † Mandatory reporting however is no panacea; its success or failure will depend to a large extent on the wider information environment and the development of trust between agencies.