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The Changing Times Of Child Protection Essay Sample

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The Changing Times Of Child Protection Essay Sample

Thesis Statement: Mandatory reporting on child abuse is a relevant issue in many countries particularly   in Australia; which is heightened by the policies passed by the government

Child abuse was considered nearly not that important social problem in many parts of the world. Nevertheless, it has received various attentions from both media and the government itself because of the increased number of child abuses. In many parts of the world, child abuse are rising to an extent that it has been an issue not to be disregarded. Many globalized countries are experiencing these social problems and certain solutions are being done to maintain protection of the children. Protection of children of the society is a big and tough one for all, may it be a resident or non-resident of a particular place. Each community must have certain ways to maintain the trust of their citizens that children of their society are in a safe and sound environment. This may be only possible if policies regarding child protection are mainly prepared. One of the solutions being introduced by the Australian government is mandatory reporting. Though at first, it has been a source of debate whether to introduce it or not, still mandatory reporting has its way in the society.

            Child abuse is officially identified in the 1960’s as a social problem among many countries. In 1962, the child abuse reporting seminar is held by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Children’s Bureau of the US Government. On 1965, the law regarding the protection and prevention of child abuse is enacted (The National Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act). This law provides funds to states that met the guidelines provided regarding child abuse and maltreatment. It also supports agencies that concerns child protection and safety. Not long enough in 1967, all fifty states adopted laws and legislations involving child abuse and maltreatment (Mandatory Reporting for Child Abuse: A Need for Clarification, http://mtmt.essortment.com/mandatoryreport_rcfl.htm).

            According to the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (USA), a 41% increase of reports on child abuse is determined from 1988-1999. Even though there is an increase in reports of child abuse, still many child abuse and maltreatment cases have not been identified.

Child Abuse: Its Cause and Effect

            Child abuse is defined as the physical, emotional and moreover neglect of the parents and others that take care of the child. Although, these abuses mainly happened at home, various incidences are reported to happen in organizations, societies, groups and churches involving children. Many forms of abuse and exploitation are present in each community and these communities have developed their own legal meaning of what child abuse is. Moreover, proliferation of many child protection agencies may it be government or non-government are rising.

            Causes of child abuse are obviously varied from one another. A mental illness is a common problem present in a child abuser, from personality disorder to severe one. Many of the victims of child abuse became the one who perpetrates the action of abusing a child or minor. Other factors that cause child abuse are poverty, broken family ties, drug dependency of guardians or parents, undeveloped parental skills, and many traumatic problems. These factors may lead to stresses that will certainly result to child exploitation or maltreatment.

Variety of factors is considered as effects of child abuse.  Researches have shown various factors that may lead to the effects of child abuse. These are: 1) age of the child when the abuse takes place, 2) is violence involved and if so into what extent or degree, 3) who committed the abuse (the effect is much worse when it is the parent or someone who is being trusted by the child), 4) do the child told anyone, and if so, what is the response of the listener ( if the response is blaming or ignoring the child then the effect is much harmful), and 5) how long the abuse went on ( Hopper, 2007). These factors are mainly about how severe or damaging the abuse was and how were the people around him/her reacts with the abuse.

Statistics of Child Abuse in Australia

              During the year 1998-1989, total notifications of child abuse, by state and territory are as follows: 1) New South Wales- 31,513; 2) Victoria- 34,679; 3) Queensland- 18,721; 4) Western Australia- 2,568; 5) South Australia- 13,132; 6) Tasmania- 653; 7) Australian Capital Territory- 1,358; and 8) Northern Territory- 678. From these total notifications, only few were being investigated. The numbers of total investigations by territory are the following: 1) NSW- 16,301; 2) Victoria- 13,385; 3) Qld- 10,838; 4) Western Australia- 2,354; 5) South Australia- 5,143; 6) Tasmania- 531; 7) Capital Territory- 1,091; and 8) Northern Territory- 366. Even though the notifications in each state and territory varied, still a large proportion of investigations were not substantiated or there were no evident basis that the reported notification is real. In South Australia and Capital Territory, 59% of the final investigations were not substantiated. So is true for Western Australia which has 48% as not substantiated. The number of child abuse or any other child protection notification increases from 42,468 in 1988-89 to 102,624 in 1998-99. The number of substantiations from 1988-89 to 1998-99 shows a different result compare to notifications. During 1988-89, substantiations increases rapidly from 18,632 to 30,257 in 1994-95 but apparently decreased to 25,063 in 1998-99 (Johnstone, H. 2000).

            The increase in the number of notifications is due to an increase of child protection matters that are reported, increased on child protection awareness of the citizens and the modification of legislations in each territory and jurisdiction. Physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect is considered as child abuse classification. These abuses vary from territories to territories depending on to what practices or policies the territory is abiding. All these abuses have one thing in common; they are very damaging into the whole being of the child. This damage may be carried up to his adulthood depending on the way a child has reacted.

            Physical abuse is defined as any thing done to the child physically that will lead to health hazards or may be dangerous to the child. Relatively, sexual abuse may be differ in to some extent for it involved sexual acts like taking nude pictures with the child, penetration or any other sexual acts in a non-humanly manner. On the other hand, emotional abuse includes humiliation, degrading the child capabilities and personality, isolation rejection and threatening experience. This may lead to psychological interference of the mind of the child. Lastly, neglect can be summarized as not receiving proper attention and care from the parents or any guardian. The child who is not receiving this attention thinks that love is not present within them.

            Highest number of category of child abuse in Australia diverge form different jurisdictions. Neglect in Queensland was the most common while sexual abuse has its verge in New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania. Emotional abuse has the most numbers in Victoria and neglect was most present in South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. These disparities on the types of child abuse are due to the differences of incidents and how children protection in different jurisdictions matters. Child maltreatment cases in Western Australia and Tasmania are the common child abuses which are included in the physical or sexual category.  In Victoria emotional abuse come into large numbers due to the broader classification of categories (Johnstone, H. 2000).

Characteristics of children are also accounted for evaluation of the increasing reports on child abuse. During 1998-99, females have the most number of substantiations in all jurisdictions except for Victoria. There were more than twice as many girls as boys who were subject5 of substantiations. In accordance to the age factor, much substantiation comes from younger years (less than 15 years old). Due to the differences of child protection policies present in each jurisdiction, significant disparities were accounted for child abuse substantiation. In Victoria, South Australia and Australian Territory it is reported that 6.3 and 5.2 out of 1000 children aged 0-16 were the subject of substantiations respectively. Substantiations were lowest in Western Australia and Tasmania, 2.5 and 1.1 respectively, due to the screening out of those contacts that do not involved child maltreatment, thus, not considering it as a notification.

            The age of the child is also one factor to be considered in analyzing child protection policies. The age of the child is inversely proportional with the subject of substantiation. The younger the child is the more it became a subject of substantiation. In most jurisdictions, a child under 1 year old was most likely to be the subject of substantiation. Following this is children from 1-4 years old.  Child protection workers consider this factor as a relevant basis in responding to reported child abuse. The High Risk Infants Service Quality Initiatives Project in Victoria was developed to intensify the identification procedures and the respond quality to children of aged 2 years.

            Indigenous children considered as substantiations was higher that other children in almost all jurisdictions except for Tasmania. Indigenous children in South Australia and Western Australia were 5.8 times more likely to be a substantiation case compare to the other children.

Recently, child abuse in Australia were almost doubled its number in four years up to the month of June this year. According to the report of the Federal Government’s agency accountable for the health and welfare of children, child abuse was recorded to be 266,745 in 2005-2006 which has an increase of 93% since 2001-02. The increase was likely to happen because of the awareness of many citizens regarding child protection policies and because of the intensifying of child welfare development of many children organizations. Although there is an increase in numbers of reported child abuse, still many abuses were ignored. In South Australia, officials did not investigate thousands of reports of suspected child abuse during 2006. The reason behind this case is that authorities believed that fewer in one in five are substantiated or there is no reliable basis on the reports. Almost 45% and 10% of the cases in which children are considered at risk and in immediate danger respectively were not given the proper investigation at all (Henderson, 2006)

Agencies and Councils (Their Functions and Elements)

On 1998, the Western Australian Government has established an independent council. This council is required to report directly to the Minister for Family and Children’s Services. The council’s objectives are 1) to promote coordination and team-play in exchanging information between government and non-government organization regarding child abuse, 2) encourage and improve researches based on issues of child abuse and maltreatment, 3) improve the level of awareness of the society regarding child protection against violence, abuse and maltreatment, and 4) gave the Government advice regarding issues connected to child protection. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) in accordance with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services has the objective to make legislations and laws regarding child protection. On 1996, Australia became a signatory to the declaration on the World Conference on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

In South Australia, reforms regarding child protection are being done. Providing greater consistency in response and decision-making processes, introducing and providing workers a brief, clear basis on reporting of child abuse and targeting departmental intervention in cases that was proven to be true are among the objectives of the reform. Five major elements are present in the reform. Among those are central intake systems, safety assessment, closer inter-agency cooperation, differential response and structured decision-making. A central telephone intake team (CIT) was established in April 1997. It aims to takes all the reports via a single 24-hr telephone line.

The rate of increase in the first year upon introducing the CIT was 18% which was more than double the increase in notifications during the three years prior to the introduction of CIT.

A framework, a Child Abuse Prevention Framework, is established in the New South Wales which will ultimately look for the benefit of the children. The main objective of the framework is to provide help in policy and decision-making strategies in relation with the child protection system that already existing. Moreover, the New South Wales Government had provided a new Commission for Children and Young People due to the release of the Wood Royal Commission’s Report in August 1997. The report shows that the previous child protection system is a failed one. The commission has given its functions to be done. Among those functions are monitoring the whole well being of the children and his/her environment, making recommendations to government and non-government agencies regarding legislations, processes, and practices that greatly affect the physical and emotional condition of the child, giving the rights to children to participate in decision-making that affect their lives considering the age of the child, and promoting researches in connection with the issues concerning child protection.

A project entitled “Kids and DV” is organized in the Queensland jurisdiction by the Queensland Department of Families, Youth and Community Care. The project provides more resources in connection with the child protection system. It provides an online database of Australian services that are for children’s benefit and a booklet exemplifying ways how to communicate and work with children.

Initially in Tasmania, through the Child Protection Act of 1974, all legally members of certain profession were required by law to report abuse or maltreatment of child up to the age of 12. The Act was amended in 1986 to include children up to the age of 17. In the amendments, mandatory reporting extends from parent to other adult concern with the safety and condition of the child. On 1997, an expanded scope of mandated person that is required to report cases of suspicions of child abuse and maltreatment are taking into consideration in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act of 1997. This Act recognizes that children are an important part of the society and it has to be given protection from abuses and maltreatment.

The Act also considers that families are the primary responsible for all the incidents that will happen to the children regardless of whether the perpetrator is in connection with the family or not. Although, mandated individuals have legal obligation on the safety and protection of the child, still all people have their moral obligation with regards to the protection of the children. People who have suspicions of child being abuse or maltreated should be responsible of reporting the incident to the necessary officers. As the act states (part 3 section 13{1}): “ An adult who knows, or believes or suspects on reasonable grounds, that a child is suffering from, has suffered or is likely to suffer abuse or neglect has a responsibility to take steps to prevent the occurrence or further occurrence of the abuse or neglect”. The Act concerned is to prevent the occurrence of anything that can be considered as abuse, maltreatment or neglect before it happens.

Child Abuse in Other Parts of the World

 United States of America

            The Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families under the US Department of Health and Human Services was the agency directed by the US Government to collect data nationally. Annual data collection and analysis is done through the federally sponsored NCANDS or National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. An estimated of 3.3 million reports on child abuse was gather during the year 2005 by the CPS (Child Protective Services) Agency. An increase of 73,000 children which have been investigated in the year 2005 compare to the year 2004 is noted and analyzed. The estimated investigations during 2005 in the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are totaled to 3.6 million. Screened in for investigations or assessment was 62.1% of the total referrals and about 28.5 % of the reports included at least one child was found out to be a victim. A total of 60.3% were considered as substantiated reports and 25.2% were considered substantiated (Summary Child Maltreatment 2005, US Department of Health and Human Service).

            More than 62.8%% suffered neglect and 16.6% experience physical abuse out of the total substantiated mandatory reports. The remaining victims experienced sexual abuse (9.3%) and emotional maltreatment (7.1%). These abuses unfortunately also lead to the lost of life of the child. An estimated of 1,460 children died because of child abuse or neglect (1.96 deaths per 100,000 children) on 2005. Neglect was the major reason why many children died during that year. 14.5 deaths per 100,000 girls of the same age were also recorded.


            A research (The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2003) conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that an estimated 217,319 child investigations were made (in all Canadian jurisdictions except Quebec in 2003). 47% of the total investigations were substantiated (103,297 child investigations), 13% were having insufficient evidence and 40% were unsubstantiated. The most common substantiated child abuse fell in the case of neglect which has 30% of the total (30,366). The second most common is the exposure of the child to domestic violence amounting to 29,370 cases and followed by physical abuse with a large amount of 25,257 cases of substantiated maltreatment. Emotional abuse and sexual abuse take the other parts amounting to 15,369 substantiated cases and 2,935 respectively (The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2003, Public Health Agency of Canada).

From 1994-2003, an increase of about 125% in cases of substantiated maltreatment was accounted. The increase of documented reports on child abuse was brought by changes in the policies and practices regarding child protection system. Another factor that was accounted for are the greater awareness of emotional abuse and exposure to violence.

Less than half of the cases involved girls (49%) and the remaining victims were boys. When it comes to age distribution, little variation can be seen. Most of the victims of physical and sexual abuse were older children (70% fell to physical abuse and 67% to sexual abuse of children between 8 to 15 years of age). Moreover, younger children were more often victims of domestic violence.


            On February 2000, 400,000 children in need in England are accounted. Out of these 400,000, 56% are being abuse and neglected. According to the Statistics Division of the Department of Health, each social services department holds a list of children being placed on the Child Protection Register. This way of registering was based on the child protection conference. A child which is proven to be in continuing harm is listed in the Child Protection Register to give him/her the proper importance and treatment.

International Statistics

            The United Nations (UN) approved the first UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children on October 11, 2006. This entails a deeper view on the violence suffered by every child in the world. Homicide was also a great crime against children contributing 53,000 deaths all over the world (2002). A huge amount of 218 million children were involved in child labor in 2004 and an amount of 1.8 million children were forced to pornography and prostitutions. Child trafficking is also vast amounting to 1.2 million (Hopper, 2007)

Researches and Applications

Dr. Jim Hopper had conducted a retrospective survey research method about child abuse focusing in the sexual abuse category. Five relevant topics are included in the discussion. Among those are: 1) the population of the sample; 2) whether or not “qate questions” are used; 3) the words used in the questions; 4) abuse as used in referencing and researching further data and 5) how many the questions are. These important methodological issues are used by investigators in determining if the mandatory report of child abuse is to substantiated or consider as lacking evidence. In any way possible, investigator is obliged to asked questions. They can do these in many ways, like utilizing the power of phone or giving questionnaires to the people that are in connection with the case. Example of series of questions is as follows: does someone fondled you (e.g. touched your genitals or other parts of the body), if yes, who was the person? What is the gender of the perpetrator? At what age did it happen to you? What is the age of that person?

Did it happen more than twice? How much is the intensity of the force needed to execute the abuse? These questions are from the works conducted by David Lisak and his colleagues (Hopper, 1996-2007). With the answer that will be provided, researchers or investigators will have a better analysis of the mandatory report given by mandated individuals. The number of questions was also considered by Jim Hopper as a relevant one in attaining the main goal of knowing what really happened. He believed that multiple questions (at least 10-15) will make the memory of the child more efficient, thus, increase the possibility of knowing whether the child suffers from abuse or maltreatment. And one very important point that Hopper indicates is that out of 3 incidents of child sexual abuse only 1 is remembered by the adult who experience it. The younger the child during the time of abuse and the closer the relationship and bond with perpetrator the more tendencies that the incident not be remembered.

            As what is being discussed above, the research focuses on how the process of investigating in a report is a quality process of determination of how the reports are to be qualified as substantiated and unsubstantiated.

Mandatory Reporting: Its Meaning and Process

            USA is where mandatory reporting came into being. In the early 1960’s, this method is being presented by using models. This introduction of mandatory reporting was scattered in the US and in the District of Columbia. Laws and legislation have been made in the years from 1963 to 1967.

The Government of Australia view mandatory reporting as an answer to the problems arising brought by child maltreatment. Mandatory reporting is part of the law regarding child abuse that mandates certain individuals to report cases of suspicion of child abuse or maltreatment. Variation on different people who is required to report exists in each territory and jurisdiction.

            In each territory or jurisdiction (Australia), groups of individuals are directive to notify their concerns or suspicions to any authority involved in child protection system. Some of the jurisdictions have specific occupation to handle reports on child maltreatment or abuse. Among those are the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. Other jurisdictions have limited occupations requirement as in Queensland and Victoria. Australian Capital Territory and South Australia are among those jurisdictions that have general lists or specific description of professionals who can work with children. Many critics of the government considered Western Australia as the only jurisdiction that was considered lacking mandatory reporting requirements.

            In New South Wales, current concerns about a child under 16 years of age is in harm or danger is to be reported by individuals who deliver health care, welfare, education, children’s services or anyone who is in connection with the safety of the children. Mandated individuals in Australian Capital Territory are more specified compare to New South Wales. Dentists, doctors, nurses, teachers, police, public servants and child care providers can notify a reasonable suspicion that a child has experiencing maltreatment and child abuse. In North Territory, police and all other people with reasonable grounds are mandated to report an incident of maltreatment that he/she believes is happening to a child. Specific notifications by specific individuals concern are present in Queensland. Doctors and nurses must be vigilant of a child that is in harm or danger.

Reasonable suspicion of maltreatment or neglect should be reported by all officers employed to implement Act 1999 and the staff of residential care services. Moreover educational staff may it be in government or private institutions should take into considerations suspected sexual abuse of a child under 18 years of age by any employee or staff of the school or institution. South Australia on the other hand considered doctors, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, police, community correction officers, social workers, teachers, family-day providers or any volunteers in a government department as the ones who will report suspected child abuse or maltreatment. In Tasmania, professionals working with children and employees or volunteers working with the government were required to report cases of abuse or neglect. Any adult is also an important part of the mandatory requirement of Tasmania for it must report cases of suspicion on child suffering, May it be mild or severe and abuse or neglect. Same is in the case of Victoria where police, doctors, nurses and teachers are required to report any allegations of child maltreatment or neglect. Finally in Western Australia, court personnel, counselors and mediators must report cases of abuse in Family Court cases. The official’s in-charge of the child care must report cases of child abuse or neglect.

            The notifiers in each jurisdiction in Australia are protected. In almost all jurisdictions except for Queensland and Tasmania, the identity of the notifiers is clearly protected. The protection given has its own limitations. Say, in Northern territory, the families can know the identity of the notifier. Assurance of the protection given by each jurisdiction to the notifier is important and also can increase the numbers of reports of child abuse and maltreatment.

            Responsibility of mandatory notifiers does not always extend up to age 18. Mandatory reporting in New South Wales does not obliged mandated individuals to report youth at the age of 16 and 17.

            Under the provision of the law in mandatory reporting, certain condition should be considered upon reporting cases of child abuse and maltreatment under their specified territory. Mandatory reporting requirements, legislative grounds for intervention and research classification are mistakenly assume to be the same. Not all reported cases involving child protection can be considered as cases of maltreatment. All the types and forms of incidents are discussed in all the mandatory reporting processes and information articles. The child statutory protection service can only intervene to reported cases of suspicion of child abuse or neglect if all circumstances evidently proven. Many of the researchers involved in child protection system focuses on the behaviors and circumstances to categorize it as abuse or neglect.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The introduction of mandatory reporting has the main objective of protecting children’s right through the effort of some professionals whether the children is in your custody or not. Mandatory reporting is an important way of giving the societies’ children the value of uniqueness and significance. It reinforces the moral responsibility and lawful obedience of members of the society with regards to the protection of many children. The increased publicity of the mandatory reporting leads to the awareness of professionals and the community as a whole in child abuse and maltreatment. It enables simple individual to have a major participation in children’s protection against abuse and maltreatment.

            Increase of public awareness in child abuse lead to increase of mandatory reports on child abuse, thus, increase on the influx of work designated to the staff of many children protection service departments. To resolve the problems in emergence of many mandatory reports, some departments increased the level of seriousness in every report. Here start the problem regarding the abrupt increase in # of reported incidents. Those reports that pass the requirement of seriousness will be investigated but the ones that were considered as less serious will not be investigated at all. Another problem arises in mandatory reporting is the lack of resources. When mandated individual reports a case of suspicion regarding child abuse and the department does not able to response and does not able to investigate the reported case then the mandated individual will stop from sending reports to the department.

Mandatory Reporting: Effective or Ineffective

 On the research conducted by Dr. Frank Ainsworth, he compares two states where mandatory reporting is already existing (New South Wales) and where it is not (Western Australia). One of the comparisons being taking into consideration is the number of notifications that was been investigated. In Western Australia, the figure fell up to 97.4% and in New South Wales, 59.6% is being investigated. Though in Western Australia, mandatory reporting does not exist, they have set a modified rule in protecting the child against abuse and neglect. This is called the Child Concern Report (CCR), where screening is done through the efforts of the senior staff.

Considering the unsubstantiated cases of child abuse and neglect on the year 1999-2000, it is been reported that 7628 came from New South Wales and 1196 are from Western Australia. New South Wales percent of substantiated is 21.3% of 30,398 (total notifications) while it is 44.2% in Western Australia wherein the total notifications is 2,645 according to the new calculation from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, 2001. Unsubstantiated reports changes to 55.8% (1476) from Western Australia and 78.7% (23, 921) in New South Wales due to the new calculation. This leads to a ratio of 7.8:1 in favor with the unsubstantiated cases in New South Wales and a ratio of 5.5:1 in Western Australia (Ainsworth, F. 2002).

In the above comparisons, it only shows that more resources and efforts are being exhausted in the reports that are unsubstantiated in New South Wales than in Western Australia. In comparison with the national data, the national ratio fell in 7.7:1 in favor of unsubstantiated which can be compare to the ration in Western Australia where the ratio is 5.5 in favor of unsubstantiated.

In connection with the actual cost and resources that are used in mandatory reporting, New South Wales have an amount of $98,236,000 and $7,074,000 for Western Australia in the year 1999-2000.

With these factors and statistics, it is more obvious that mandatory reporting has its own flaws- from the resources and efforts that have been used to the applicability and quality of the reports. Mandatory reporting is established to help children in danger and to protect them from any harm or threat. Nevertheless, it became a tool for only spending money out of its objectives.


            Three States in Australia namely New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia have conducted assessment about the recent mandatory reporting procedures in 2001. This topic has been a part of debate of many concerned about the child protection system of Australia. The major concern that tingle the mind of officials of child protective system is that according to studies done by the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia, 10% of children who had experience substantiated cases of child abuse were again subject of further abuse within 12 months regardless of the intervention of child protection agencies.

            In Australia itself, mandatory reports regarding child abuse and maltreatment boost uncontrollably because of the scope of mandatory reporting, increased stress on the family, and increase awareness of child abuse.

Since 1969 South Australia has already experiencing the mandatory reporting. This mandatory reports required police, education employees, children services workers, and health workers to report various suspicions on child abuse and maltreatment. Same is true with the Victorian jurisdiction, which approve the mandatory reporting in the year 1993 where police, teachers, and doctors are required to report various cases of child abuse and neglect. Not later than 1999, Queensland has no legislation that is efficient that could possibly make the mandatory reporting a productive one. Only in 1999 an amendment is being done which considered any employee of a residential care should report any harm or unsafe condition of a child.

            Mandatory reporting is obviously has its flaws considering all aspects specifically the resources available. Though it is a good option, because it increases the numbers of reports, still investigations should be done and there begins the loop hole. The lack of confidence of the communities in the officials of Child Protection Agency is one main reason why many cases of maltreatment and neglect are still unsolved. It is also a big factor where debates begin that mandatory reporting includes the willingness of the victim to seek help to other person without feeling ashamed of them. Families subjected to such investigations must also be taking into considerations.

            According to the paper entitled “Supporting Mandatory Reporting in Schools” presented by Dr. Elspeth McInnes of the University of South Australia, teaching staff approaches to child abuse prevention is the most effective way to lessen the incidence. He also believes that mandatory reporting is in great dilemma due to increase demand of response brought by uncontrollably reports of child abuse and maltreatment. Recent training to teachers was on of the solutions presented by McInnes that will help teachers in the aspects of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. This will help the teachers identify when to report suspicions on child abuse and maltreatment. Based on the study of Goddard in 2001 of Victorian professional notes, 75% of the mandated individuals find it difficult to identify whether the case can be considered as abuse or not. 63% has find difficulty when to make a report and 64% of the professional that did the report, received no response at all.

            McInnes had presented approaches on school-based category. Among the approaches are: 1) adoption of an explicit child safe policy approach which is declared in school documentation, underpinned by school-wide principles of mutual respect,; 2) explicit school wide leadership and support for the protection of the child; 3) partnership with the family delivery agency that will provide information and counseling in connection with the protection of the child in concern, and 4) providing child information kits that would give the family a background of proper caring to their child without any problems arising.

            Strategies in improving mandatory reporting in other countries like Canada are not far from the one that Australian government is providing. Aside from reforming the law executed by the Canadian government, education is another a key factor required in improving the way mandatory reporting is to be done. Children should know their rights and should be given the ways of identifying abuse, and to ask for help whenever necessary. People mandated to report various incidences of child abuse should be given the opportunity to improve their skills in determining abuse and thus making it efficient. The support for the parents and children that experience child abuse should be given.

             At the end, mandatory reporting in one way or another, maybe an efficient way of identifying cases of child abuse or neglect, though it has its limitations specifically when it comes to the resources. The most efficient way to prevent child abuse is for us to have a moral responsibility of helping anyone in accordance with the law. Respecting the rights of the youth of our society is the major solution to the problem of child abuse and thus make the mandatory report has its way.


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