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Discuss your agency’s protocols for making an abuse report for a child or elder.
In my agency, since it is a helpline and we are answering calls, if there happens to be a caller that is calling to report child or elder abuse we would discourage from seeking information and instead encourage them to contact the appropriate agency. If the caller provides us with the information then as the listener we are legally obligated to report it since we are mandated, reporters. We would report it to the appropriate agency which could be Child Protective Services, the Department of Social Services, or the police department.
Describe the state legal guidelines that exist for mandated reporting of abuse (child and elder abuse) in your specific state.
In the state of California, mandated reporters are required to report any suspected abuse or neglect of a child or elder. For children, it can be emotional, sexual, or physical abuse and neglect. (California Department of Education, 2021). The type of abuse for the elder includes emotional, physical, sexual, abandonment, isolation, financial, neglect, self-neglect, and mental suffering. Failing to report any suspected abuse or neglect can result in punishable with fines and jail time. With both child and elder abuse can be a fine of up to $1000 or up to six months in jail or both. However, failing to report abuse where it resulted in death or great bodily injury the fine is up to $5000 or up to one year in county jail or both (Adult Protective Services, 2022). To report any abuse one must do it by telephone first then immediately followed by writing and compete for any forms that are required.
Discuss how being a designated mandated reporter impacts you on both a personal and professional level.
Since I have always worked in the healthcare field and been through many mandated reporter training, I am grateful that I have not been in that position to make the call and report abuse but that does not by all mean that it won’t happen. As social workers, one is at a higher stake of encountering situations where one has to make that call and do the report because an individual’s life may be at risk. There are a lot of things at risk if I happen to fail in making that report because fines and imprisonment are consequences that can affect my ability to get that job within the field and affect my work ethic. According to the textbook, failing to follow mandated reporting on suspected abuse is considered unethical behavior (Royse, Dhooper, and Badger, 2018. p. 206). Also, it can affect my conciseness knowing that by failing to report a suspected abuse or neglect someone was harmed and or in danger.
California Department of Education. (2022, September 13). Child Abuse Identification &
Reporting Guidelines. California Department of Education. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/ap/childabusereportingguide.asp
California Department of Social Services. (2022). Adult Protective Services (APS). California
Department of Social Services (CDSS). https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/adult-protective-services
Royse, D., Dhooper, S. S., & Badger, K. (2018). Field Instruction: A Guide for Social Work
Students. (7th ed.). Waveland Press, Inc.
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