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The United States has historically relied heavily on mandated reporting, believing it is a causal factor in child abuse prevention. However, to date, there has not been any published research suggestive of such causation. In fact, our reliance on mandated reporting as the primary response to help families arguably introduces more opportunity for systemic racism, implicit biases, and the unwarranted removal of children from their homes.
This presentation reviews the legal and social history of mandated reporting laws and family separation, examines the ethical conundrum of mandated reporting as it relates to evidence-based practice, and discusses alternatives to mandated reporting as a primary prevention strategy.
The presentation includes an examination of “reasonable belief” or “suspicion” requirement in mandated reporting laws and guidance on how to respond to a child disclosure of maltreatment, and what to do when a professional observes maltreatment “warning signs”. We will also focus on alternative responses, highlighting how and when to implement them without violating mandated reporting laws. Overall, this presentation challenges participants to think of consequence beyond just the reporting call, and to be creative in implementing family support systems.
This presentation recognizes and acknowledges that there are many cases where reporting is important and required to ensure child safety. We will discuss, briefly, ways to distinguish cases of maltreatment from cases of poverty and other non-maltreatment stressors where alternative responses may be appropriate.
This class meets the DC Key Public Health Priorities criteria for DC licensees.
Miriam Itzkowitz, MSW, LISW, is the Director of Trauma-Informed Care for the Institute for Children, Families and Communities at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St Paul, Minnesota. Miriam develops and provides training on best practices at the intersection of legal services and trauma-informed care. She also serves as the social work supervisor for graduate social work students to link theory and practice and to serve the clients represented through ITCP.
1. Overview/History of child welfare and mandated reporting laws in the United States (30 minutes). Includes discussion related to specific jurisidictions of audience members, disproportionality rates
2. What the Law Says: Discussion of mandated reporting laws, including "reasonable belief", definitions of maltreatment, how and when to make a report (30 minutes)
3. What the Law Doesn't Say: Other considerations such as child disclosures, confidentiality issues, "off-duty" reporting, informing caregivers of report, and vicarious/secondary trauma. Includes group discussion on how reporting does/does not factor into maltreatment prevention (30 minutes)
4. Looking at the child welfare system as a whole: What is the role of mandated reporting/reporters? (20 minutes) Includes a six minute video of testimonials from parents with lived experience
5. Decision making models and engaging families in support processes (45 minutes) Includes a motivational interviewing exercise, discussion of evidence based research, and case studies; utilizing alternate responses when appropriate, including family in making a report when appropriate
6. Recommedations for Mandated Reporters (25 minutes) Incorporates step by step processes to consider before making a report, and how to get support if needed.
- Participants will be able to describe legal requirements and ethical issues of mandated reporting
- Participants will be able to explain the "reasonable belief" standard
- Participants will be able to implement evidence-based practices of family engagement as alternative responses
- Participants will be able to summarize the role reporting has in disparate impact on families of color in the child welfare field
- Participants will be able to list recommendations for mandated reporters
This presentation is open to:
- Social Workers
- Professional Counselors
- Licensed Mental Health Practitioners
- Other professionals interacting with populations engaged in mental health based services
This online class is offered at an intermediate level ,and is beneficial for an intermediate level clinician:
- New practitioners who wish to gain enhanced insight surrounding the topic
- Experienced practitioners who seek to increase and expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the subject matter
- Advanced practitioners seeking to review concepts and reinforce practice skills and/or access additional consultation
- Managers seeking to broaden micro and/or macro perspectives
This Webinar Offers 3 Continuing Education Credits
This webinar is recorded and will not grant live credits.
- This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Therapy Express. NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116.
- CE You! is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. CE You! maintains responsibility for this program..
- NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046
- NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082
- NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048.