Requirements for filing reports in the USA

Those who work with or provide services to minors, the disabled, or the elderly are often required by law to report any suspicions of abuse or neglect.

Mandated reporters are required by law in many countries to report any instances of suspected or known abuse involving vulnerable people like children, the disabled, or the elderly. The types of abuse that must be reported may include neglect as well as financial, physical, sexual, or other forms of abuse, though the specifics vary by jurisdiction. Any person, paid or unpaid, who has regular or occasional custody of a minor, dependent adult, or elderly person is subject to the mandate to file a report.

History [ edit ]

U.S. physicians C. Henry Kempe and Brandt Steele published "The Battered Child Syndrome"[1][2] in 1962 to aid in the diagnosis of child abuse, the treatment of its symptoms, and the reporting of severe physical abuse to authorities. Before its publication, child abuse was not widely recognized as a problem in the United States. The United States Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1974, which allocates federal funds to individual states so that they may establish Child Protective Services (CPS) and abuse hotlines in order to protect children from harm. Gradually, in the United States and, to varying degrees, in other western nations, societal expectations regarding reporting shifted in response to these laws, media and advocacy coverage, and research. [4][5]

when?While many countries' reporting systems were initially established to deal with cases of physical abuse, they have since expanded to include cases of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence. Along with this growth came more stringent reporting standards: where before reports were filed only in the event of serious physical injury, now even less severe injuries as well as developmental and psychological trauma are required to be reported. [6]

Statistics [ edit ]

The number of calls to hotlines across the country increased from 150,000 in 1963 to 3, Three Million in 2009 There were 3 occurrences of this in 2011. [7] A total of 4,000,000 phone calls were made [8] Confirmed cases of sexual abuse fell by 62%, physical abuse by 56%, and neglect by 10% between 1992 and 2009 in the United States. One percent of children are confirmed abuse victims. [9]

In the neighborhood of three There are 6 million calls made each year in the United States, or about 9 per day or 63 per week. [8] This number affects roughly 1 in 10 people in the country. S each year (there are 32,220) families with children younger than 18 (There are approximately 2 million such families) For the period between 1998 and 2011, a total of 43 million calls were made to various hotlines, as shown in [10]. More than half of the confirmed cases involve insignificant incidents, and many more involve workers who are simply concerned about potential future events.

About 85 percent of all reports to hotlines each year are either unfounded or do not require further investigation. About 78% of all investigations turn out to be false, while about 22% are confirmed, and in about 9% of cases, "alternative responses" are provided, which prioritize working with the family to resolve issues rather than confirming maltreatment. [11]

Criteria [ edit ]

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child [12]

Neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and sexual abuse are the four main types of child abuse. For example, neglect can take the form of abandonment, a lack of emotional, physical, or moral support, or exposure to potentially harmful environments or relationships. Commonly required minimums for reporting include:

  • What the reporter did to try to help, and how they found out about the injuries or neglect.
  • Injuries, assaults, neglect, or monetary mistreatment history (if known).
  • Specifics about when, where, what, and how severe the abuse or neglect was.
  • Documentation release date
  • Details about the offender, including their identity, whereabouts, and (if applicable) connection to the victim.
  • Reporter's full name, title, organization, mailing address, contact number, and signature

To prevent further harm to the suspected victim and to give perpetrators time to prepare their defense through intimidation, reporters are often urged to report their suspicions without first conducting an investigation or waiting for absolute proof. Experts are subsequently entrusted with conducting the abuse investigation. If a report is made in good faith, the identity of the reporter may not be revealed in some jurisdictions. Until proof of guilt is presented, the defendant should be treated as innocent. It is also important to keep in mind that the information being reported is based on speculation. [13]

Extra types of abuse must be reported in some states. For instance, in the state of Kentucky, it is mandatory for all residents to report any instances of child abuse or neglect, as well as any instances of child trafficking or female genital mutilation. [14]

Occupational Requirements [ edit ]

Even though state laws are constantly being updated, in 2019 every state plus DC, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. S Laws in the Virgin Islands spell out who must report cases of suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. [15]

Professions whose members are required by law to report child maltreatment are identified in approximately 48 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Examples of mandated occupations could include, but are not limited to, the following[15]

  • Adults who care for children
  • Caregivers
  • Many jurisdictions provide protection for privileged communications between clergy and penitents.
  • Specialists in mental health like counselors
  • Coroners and medical examiners
  • Helpers in the medical field
  • Law enforcement personnel, including police
  • Administrators, faculty, staff, and students of a school
  • Professionals in the field of social work
  • Professionals working in women's health clinics (in some jurisdictions).
  • Producers of Pornographic Films for Children

As of April 2019 [update], it is the law in 18 U.S. states and the territory of Puerto Rico that anyone with reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect must report their concerns. Anyone can report in any other state, territory, or the District of Columbia. These anonymous witnesses to abuse are commonly referred to as "permissive reporters." "[15]

Privacy and protection [ edit ]

To comply with the law, mandated reporters must identify themselves, but they have the right to request anonymity if they so choose. If a mandated reporter knowingly files a false report, that information will likely be shared with law enforcement and potentially with the alleged abuser or neglecter.

Mandated reporters face potential consequences, but those who report in good faith are protected from legal repercussions. The reporters who, in good faith, did not report the crime are also protected from prosecution. If suspected abuse or neglect is not reported, however, penalties such as fines or mandatory attendance at a training program may be imposed. Any further inaction may result in even more severe consequences, including civil litigation or criminal prosecution with the possibility of imprisonment.

The clergy-penitent exemption and other exceptions [ edit ]

Some privileged communication statutes may conflict with a mandated reporter's responsibilities, but in most cases, the attorney-client privilege and the clergy-penitent privilege are not subject to mandatory reporting. In some US states, a Psychiatrist or PhD is required for certain Reporting requirements do not apply to psychologists. [16]

Communications between a member of the clergy and a communicant who is seeking confidentiality are shielded from disclosure under the doctrine of "clergy-penitent privilege." If this provision is invoked, neither the minister nor the "penitent" can be compelled to testify in court, by deposition, or in any other legal proceedings regarding the contents of the communication. Confidentiality privilege has been extended to non-Catholic clergy and non-sacramental counseling in most US states [17], typically in rules of evidence or civil procedure. [18]

Follow-up on reported incidents [ edit ]

About 1 in 16 American families with children under the age of 18 is impacted by the 2 million allegations that are investigated every year. All reports of abuse should be evaluated immediately by law enforcement or public health officials [11]. Many referrals clearly do not constitute abuse or neglect, or provide insufficient information to conduct an investigation, and so are screened out in most states. Some states look into every report, while others use this method to eliminate anywhere from 5 percent to 78 percent. [19]

When there is immediate danger of physical harm or another emergency, authorities must make efforts within a reasonable time frame to begin (and conclude) an effective investigation when reports contain sufficient information to warrant one. Agencies should work together to lessen the (possible) victim's exposure to risk. In 1985, the United States established the Children Advocacy Center model, which incorporates "Multi-Disciplinary Teams" (law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health) to investigate, treat, manage, and prosecute cases of child abuse. [20]

In many cases, parental permission is required before interviewing the (possible) victim, unless there is reason to suspect that the victim is actually the alleged offender. When there is evidence of severe abuse or neglect, authorities like police and prosecutors need to be notified and given a copy of the report.

When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Greene v. Board of Education of San Francisco Unified School District, districts across the United States quickly followed suit by adopting new Camreta, which mandates the presentation of a warrant, court order, parental permission, or exigent circumstances before a police officer or state case worker can conduct an interview with a student on school property in connection with a sexual abuse investigation. [21]

Clarification according to form of abuse [ edit ]

Total U S Less than one percent of American children have annual maltreatment claims supported by data. S Number of Children (9 3.03% (3 out of every 1000 uniques) [22] Of those:

  • The age of neglect is 78. 3%
  • The average age at which physical abuse occurs is 17. 8%
  • Assaults of a sexual nature occur 9 5%
  • Physical Abuse is 5 6%[22]

Annual percentage of US children who suffer from confirmed cases of neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse:

  • Abandonment - 0.74 percent (74 7 per 10,000)
  • Less than 1% of children (16) have been physically abused. 2 per 10,000)
  • Less than 1% of children are sexually abused (8 6 per 10,000)[23]

Appeals/expunction [ edit ]

The appeals process within the CPS agency is administrative and consists of a review by CPS employees. Having a process for sealing criminal records is mandatory under CAPTA [24]. Different methods exist, and they aren't always followed. Provisions are not in place in ten states. [25]

In order to remove one's name from the Central Abuse Registry after one year, Arkansas, a CAPTA compliant state and a leader in addressing problems with the Child Maltreatment Registry, has enacted laws and procedures to do so. For more information, please consult the Arkansas Human Services Policy and Procedure Manual. [26]

Forced child removals due to mandatory reporting [ edit ]

Child Protective Services (CPS) and the police can work together to take a child into protective custody. About 700 children in the United States are taken away from their families every day in cases of alleged abuse or neglect. [27] In 2001, approximately 100,000 children in the United States were taken from their homes despite there being no evidence of abuse or neglect. [27]

Removal has devastating effects on people, which is why the law in the United States limits its use. The U S Our nation's highest court has ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. S Unless the child's life or health is in immediate danger, the state must provide notice and a hearing before forcibly separating a parent and child, which is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Most removals are done in cases of emergency, which means they are conducted outside of court but still necessitate a hearing after they have been carried out. [27]

Investigations have repercussions for kids and their families. [ edit ]

Those who are opposed to looking into allegations of child abuse often argue that

  • It is possible that a child will be taken from their home illegally.
  • Emotional scars can be left by prolonged interrogation and physical examinations.
  • In the absence of eradication, anxiety, mistrust, and insecurity may persist.
  • The psychological effects of long-term foster care are real, and they can damage the parent-child bond irreparably.
  • However unfounded, an accusation of wrongdoing can still cause emotional harm to a family. Feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, depression, loss of rights and freedoms, public disgrace, invasion of privacy, and possible legal repercussions are common responses to threats and the presumption of guilt. [27]
  • Potential financial damage comes from needing a lawyer to protect one's rights and abide by the rules that have been imposed. Unlike sex abuse registries, CPS Central Registries/databases are used for decades in the background check process for things like employment and licensing. citation neededA registry tainted with "false-positives" entangled with wrongdoers is commonplace because of allegations that lead to inclusion on the list even when the accused is never formally charged or convicted of a crime. [citation needed] citation neededThere is a 1 in [citation needed] 2–12 Repeated substantiations within 6 months of the first set equal a recidivism rate of 3%. [29]

Training [ edit ]

Wherever mandatory reporting laws are enforced, training is typically provided, covering topics like how to spot abuse and neglect, what must be reported, who should report it, and whether or not the reporter will be identified or subject to any repercussions.

Educational materials used in training programs frequently feature cliches and vague indicators, such as: e. g definitions of emotional abuse that include failing to provide "adequate love" for a child or reporting children who are shy or withdrawn or even friendly to strangers, despite the fact that only a small percentage of children who exhibit these behaviors have been abused. [30][13]

There are many options for training. Classroom training is offered by many community groups that work to protect children. There are also online courses and videos that can be used for training.

Criticism [ edit ]

Mandatory reporting has been criticized on the grounds that it could make the public more vigilant or cause a strain on the child welfare system, leading to higher taxes and the unnecessary separation of children from their families. Increases in the number of false reports are anticipated if the number of required reporters is increased or if penalties for non-reporting are made more severe. Some argue that mandatory reporting is counterproductive because it discourages people from seeking medical care or maintaining therapeutic relationships. Additionally, it has been criticized for disproportionately impacting African-American households. [33][page needed]

Many cases of what are now considered child abuse and neglect are not serious enough to warrant government intervention, critics argue. Massive and excessively inflated rumored rates [34] are cause for concern for all parties involved. Overreactions by some professionals and citizens who report many cases that do not amount to child abuse have been attributed to emotional responses to child abuse and sensational media coverage. [13] Concern for the safety of children must not be allowed to supersede a respect for legal procedure and due process. [13][35][editorializing]

Another complaint is that some undesirable results have arisen from mandatory reporting laws. Those who have been accused of child abuse, even if they have never been convicted of a crime, may be placed on a registry that will follow them around for decades and make it difficult for them to get a job or a college education. Due to the fear of repercussions, citizens may feel their duty is fulfilled after reporting a problem anonymously to a hotline, and thus refrain from taking constructive neighborhood action to aid families in crisis. [34]

It is possible that better publicized and more widely known use of statistics could have important implications for public policy. Hysteria about child abuse would be mitigated, along with the associated rhetoric and inflated reporting rates, if this were implemented [9]. This would be more equitable for the kids and their parents as well as easier on child protection agencies. [13]

See also [ edit ]

  • Safeguarding Children
  • Assault on a Child
  • Obligatory reporter

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ C In a famous case, Henry Kempe and Ray E The Battered Child, edited by Helfer Initial Printing: 1968 Chicago University Press, 1974, 2nd edition. Third Printing, 1980 Authored by M. E Helfer, R K. E. Kempe and R. Krugman, Paul.
  2. ^ C H Frederic N. Kempe Brandt F Silverman Henry K. Steele, William Droegemuller, and The Battered Child Syndrome," by Silver. American Medical Association, 181(17), 1962:17-24 Disease named after Tardieu It's also known as Caffey-Kempe syndrome.
  3. ^ Larry Wolff (2013-01-4) In "The Battered-Child Syndrome: 50 Years Later," the authors examine the effects of childhood abuse over the course of half The Huffington Post.
  4. ^ Stephen M. Krason (2007) Child Abuse Laws and the Child Protective Services: A Literature Review of Their Detractors This is the Catholic Social Science Quarterly p  307,308,307–350
  5. ^ Douglas J In Besharov's (1985) ""Doing Something" About Child Abuse: The Need to Narrow the Grounds For State Intervention"The need to restrict the scope of state intervention into cases of child abuse is discussed in "Doing Something" about Child Abuse. Harvard's Public Law and Policy Review Harvard J L & Pub Pol’y 8: 539–590
  6. ^ Leah Bromfield; Prue Holzer Submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW from the Australian Institute of Family Studies Clearinghouse on National Child Safety CiteSeerX  [[10]]1.1.385.2444
  7. ^ Stephen M. Krason. (2013) Forty Years of American Law, Public Policy, and Governmental Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Legacy of the Mondale Act (PDF) The Scarecrow Press pp  1–58
  8. ^ a b c Children's Bureau, U.S. S The Health and Human Services Department (2013) NCANDS Annual Reports, 1996–2011.
  9. ^ a b The authors Finkelhor, David; Jones, Lisa; Shuttuch, Anne "Child Abuse: 2010 Updated Trends" (PDF) Crimes Against Children Study Unit, University of New Hampshire Retrieved December 19th 2011
  10. ^ U S Table H, Bureau of the Census, Economics and Statistics Administration, Department of Commerce U.S. Census Bureau, "Projections of the Number of Households and Families: 1995 to 2010, P25-1129," (PDF) online bibliography: CS1 maint: multiple names: list of authors (link)
  11. ^ a b U S Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 2010 NCANDS 2009 Child Maltreatment Report, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. (PDF) website citation style: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Leeb, R T & Paulozzi L. J Also, Melanson, C ; Simon, T R ; Arias, I Initially published January 1, 2008 Data Elements and Uniform Definitions for Child Maltreatment Surveillance in the Interest of Public Health" Organization for the Prevention of Diseases Retrieved 20 October 2008
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target="_blank">e_rf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">ef-wf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">elfarf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">eacadf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">emy.org_13-3" targf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">et="_blank">df="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">emy.org_13-1" targf="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#cite_ref-welfareacademy.org_13-4" target="_blank">et="_blank">blank">a "Besharov, Douglas J." (Summer 1994). A Fair and Reasonable Response to Child Sexual Abuse" (PDF) The Children's Future 4 (2): 136, 135–155 doi:[[10]]2307/1602528 JSTOR 1602528 PMID 7804761
  14. ^ Laws of Kentucky, Chapter 620, Section 030
  15. ^ a b c The NAIC Annual Report on Child Abuse and Neglect (April 2019) Reporters of suspected or confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect are required by law to make a report. (PDF) A Portal for Data on Child Welfare
  16. ^ ORS 418, Oregon Statutes 750
  17. ^ The ABA (December 1, 2006) Edited by the American Bar Association ) "Responses to Concerns Regarding the Attorney-Client Confidentiality" ABA Now
  18. ^ Information Portal on Child Welfare (2012) In the words of the Children's Bureau's editor ) Clergy Obligated to Report Abuse or Neglect of a Minor (PDF) pp  1–19
  19. ^ Karen C Rob Geen Tumlin (May 1, 2000). "The Choice to Investigate: Comprehending How States Screen Children in Need of Protection" The Urban Institute Retrieved Thursday, September 14 2014 The CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) in a web citation.
  20. ^ The National Alliance for Children (2013 ). Web Site Start Page
  21. ^ Organization of Oregon School Boards (May 27, 2011). Summarization of Greene v. Camreta
  22. ^ a b U S Report by the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services (2010) Reference: "NCANDS 2009 Child Maltreatment Report," National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. (PDF) p  ix CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) is the recommended format for online citations.
  23. ^ Written by David Finkelhor, Lisa Jones, and Anne Shuttuch Current Research on Child Abuse and Neglect: 2010 (PDF) The New Hampshire Research Center on Crimes Against Children at the University of New Hampshire p  1 Retrieved Wednesday, December 19 2011
  24. ^ U S In 2009, HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services) A National Child Abuse Registry: An Interim Report to Congress on Its Feasibility pp  1–41
  25. ^ Internet Resource for Child Welfare Information (2011) The Children's Bureau (ed. ) A Synopsis of State Laws Regarding the Examination and Erasure of Central Registries and Reporting Records pp  1–38
  26. ^ Children and Family Services Division, Arkansas Department of Human Services (2013). Child Maltreatment Central Registry Policy and Procedure Manual, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services. Reference: 293-328 Arkansas Department of Human Services, Children and Family Services
  27. ^ a b c d According to Paul Chill's (2003) definition The harmful effects of emergency removal in child protective proceedings are discussed in "Burden of Proof Begone." Network for Social Science Research, 1–43
  28. ^ Enrique Ortiz and Sabrina Luza (1991). "The Shame Dynamic in CPS Interactions with Parents Falsely Accused of Child Abuse." IPT 3
  29. ^ A report by the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (2010) Title: "Child Welfare Outcomes: 2007-2010, Report to Congress" (PDF) "cite web": CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link).
  30. ^ Douglas J. Besharov (Spring 1986). False allegations of child abuse are becoming an increasing problem. (PDF) 83:18-33 The Public Interest
  31. ^ According to AP (10 June 2012). "States are re-evaluating mandatory reporter laws in light of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case."
  32. ^ Persky, Anna Stolley "Child Abuse Reporting Laws in the Wake of the Penn State Scandal"
  33. ^ Authors: Dr. Kenneth Lau, LCSW; Ms. Kathryn Krase, LCSW, JD; Mr. Richard H. Miller, LMSW Morse (2008-12-02) A Field Guide for Social Workers to the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Publishing House Springer ISBN 9780826117823 Retrieved 2015-05-13
  34. ^ a b On October 1st, 1999, Susan Orr Child Abuse, Child Protection, and Recommendations for Reform: Policy Study 262 Child Protection at a Crossroads. (PDF) This version is an archive of the original (PDF) on 24 May 2013
  35. ^ a b Spring 1998 Douglas Besharov Keeping kids safe from harm Children and Their Prosperous Future The Brookings Institution at Princeton 8 (1)
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