Mandated Reporting

Mandated Reporting

Mandated reporters include medical examiners, teachers, social workers, and many more. They are entitled to report any suspected abuses among children if they have reasonable causes to suspect that any child is in danger (PDHS, 2021). Sometimes there are general concerns or worries concerning the possibility of reporting abuse. The law demands that these cases of child abuse are reported but it is not a simple matter. If the violence was a gang warfare issue, the attackers threaten the doctor against reporting it. A mandated reporter’s life is then in danger. Children who are victims of domestic abuse do not wish to have it reported because it becomes tough for them to return home and in such cases, a child often implores a mandated reporter not to report the abuse (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett, 2013). It is quite a dilemma and sometimes mandated reporters can get into trouble if they conceal any abuse from law enforcement authorities. If authorities find out that a doctor has concealed such information, the doctor could get criminally charged and lose his license.

If abuse is suspected, the kind of questions I would ask my client to gain clarity would on the allegations as well as the age of the child. But the questions will generally as open-ended as possible and will be used to assess whether or not the child is being abused or neglected (Jungbluth & Shirk, 2009). I will first try to build some rapport with the child so he or she feels safe enough to talk. I will ask the child who lives with him or her at the home, about pets, siblings, things he or she likes to do, even favorite foods and colors. I will also ask what happens when they get in trouble and if they ever get scared. nonetheless, I will ask what the child does when he or she does when scared. If there are allegations of sexual abuse, the social I will ask the child if anyone touched him/her in certain places. I will follow the child’s lead and if he or she mentions something of concern, I will ask follow-up questions to determine what is going on.

In the United States, therapists have mandated reporters of abuse (that means legally obligated) if there is a protected person in immediate danger (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett, 2013). The protected people, in this case, are children, the elderly, and those who are mentally disabled or incapacitated in some way, such as a person who is quadriplegic and unable to care for themselves without assistance. If abuse is reported I will inform of my responsibility as a mandated reporter and how the situation represents an exception to confidentiality as well as associated risks (Sommers-Flanagan & Bequette, 2013). I will also seek the client’s assent in a verbal script or written form before reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Ivey, A. E., Ivey, M. B., & Zalaquett, C. P. (2013). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (8th Edition). New York: Cengage Learning.

Jungbluth, N. J., & Shirk, S. R. (2009). Therapist strategies for building involvement in cognitive–behavioral therapy for adolescent depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology77(6), 1179.

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PDHS). (2021). “Mandated Reporter Frequently Asked Questions.” http://www.keepkidssafepa.gov/

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Bequette, T. (2013). The initial psychotherapy interview with adolescent clients. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy43(1), 13-22.

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