Social Workers as Mandated Reporters: I Made the Report - Now What? Part VII

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This is an excellent well-balanced article.

Pendulums do swing. There was a time when many social workers were reluctant to report suspicions of child abuse for many reasons including concern for the client’s privacy. Nowadays it is well established that we have a responsibility to report our suspicions of abuse. That's progress. However need to remember that until the case is founded by the proper CPS authorities it is still a suspicion and not a verdict. The client stills has rights and we still have responsibilities to protect those rights. That means when appropriate we need to turn over only what is necessary to support our suspicions and challenge the breadth of the subpoena issued by CPS if they demand information that might be superfluous to the issue of abuse.
It is most shocking that some social workers today would consider that a client under suspicion of abuse would forfeit all rights. The road to hell and to malpractice and loss of license is often paved with good intentions without competence.

John A. Riolo, PhD more than 8 years ago

This is shocking and distasteful to read.

Should the focus on reporting concerns related to the protection of a child not be more concerned with ensuring that there is adequate and sufficient information so as to constructively protect a vulnerable child rather than a legal gloat over what can be considered ' confidential'? I am ashamed of commentary like this that pretends to view itself as 'professional'. Help me understand how client privacy matters more than the vulnerability of a defenceless infant who has no one to protect them.

Helen Caverhill more than 8 years ago

Difficult Decisions

Thank you, for your feedback. I agree that the focus on reporting should be the protection of a child. However, social workers need to be aware of the professional and legal considerations that are implicated when they make a report, so that they can protect a child and themselves as well.

Kathryn Krase more than 8 years ago

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