Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Educators play a critical role in the mandated reporting of child abuse for the school is one of the few institutions where we can find almost every child for a good portion of their lives. If educators are expected to be effective mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, it would make sense that they should receive intense training on the subject. A review of the literature indicates that this is not happening. The purpose of this research was to identify whether educators in a midsize school district are qualified to make decisions regarding the mandated reporting of child maltreatment. A questionnaire was distributed to 500 educators at the elementary level. The questionnaire consisted of 8 vignettes describing hypothetical situations where behaviors ranged from acceptable parental behavior and corporal punishment to child maltreatment. The participants were asked to identify the intervention/s they would use in each situation. This same questionnaire was distributed to 10 child protection workers, asking them to select the intervention/s they would expect educators to use. The answers were then compared to see, if in fact, there was congruence. Data provided by 182 elementary educators and 5 child protection workers indicated that levels of congruency were inconsistent. Although educators and child protection workers seemed to select similar interventions in the area of possible physical abuse, they seemed to differ in areas of possible emotional abuse and/or neglect, especially in decisions to contact parents or report to the child protection unit. Although there were incongruencies among selected interventions, both agencies indicated a need for educators to receive further training in the area of child maltreatment.
Dahlager, Tara M., "Mandated Reporting in Education: Getting Through the Gray" (1999). Theses and Graduate Projects. 219.