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Should child welfare professionals be made to report child abuse? - The case for and against

Date:13 MAY 2016
The government has announced that it will shortly fulfil its promise to launch a consultation looking at the possibility of making reporting suspected child abuse compulsory. This development is not surprising as child sexual abuse scandals like those involving Jimmy Saville and the towns of Rotherham and Telford continue to expose weaknesses in the protection of children within settings which should be effectively safeguarding them from harm.

But what might mandatory reporting look like and what are the pros and cons? Mandatory reporting is a duty enforced by law to report suspicions of child maltreatment to the head of an institution or child protection organisation including the police. The standards applied to create an obligation to report are varied. For instance any new law put into place may require the reporter to 'suspect' have 'reason to believe' or 'reasonable cause to suspect' that a child is being abused. It is unlikely that lodging a suspicion would lead to the reporter having to provide proof of the abuse; however a failure to make a report could lead to a jail sentence.


Read the full article here.