School officials, medical professionals, social workers, all of these and many more are legally mandated reporters of abuse, but the rate at which abuse gets reported is disturbingly low. Many professionals still believe that it is not their place to intervene despite their status as mandated reporters. Reporting suspected abuse is always the right decision, and the process is simpler than many think. Our guide to Child Abuse for the Mandated Reporter is easy to read and can be distributed to the entire staff of any organization in order to prepare them to become mandated reporters.
Our book can help anyone recognize the signs of child abuse. If signs are witnessed, the mandated reporter legally and ethically must report their findings to CPS. Making a CPS report is easier than many think. As we’ve discussed before, it is not necessary to have definitive proof that abuse is occurring, nor extensive information on the nature of the abuse. One must make reports in good faith, meaning that their suspicion was real and there was no intent to slander anyone in the process of reporting abuse.
Oftentimes, reporters do not know who is committing abuse or neglect of the child, and though the CPS agents will ask, do not make unfounded accusations as to who you suspect the abuser is. It is best to admit that you are unsure unless you have reason to believe that it is someone in particular. If the child mentions someone who is abusing him or her, that should certainly be included in the report.
The information needed to make a report is minimal, and could save a child’s life. There are many laws in place that can actually convict mandated reporters who knowingly fail to report abuse. It’s important to know the signs of abuse and save children’s lives.