Since the development of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1875, activists have worked to protect children from abuse. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that state governments were given the responsibility of child protection (Myers, 2009). During this time, mandated reporting developed as a crucial way for reporting and stopping abuse. By 1967 all fifty states had reporting laws (Myers 2009).
Despite this long history, mandated reporting continues to be a huge challenge for reporters. According to a 2015 study by Walsh and Jones, 39% of participants were not aware that they were required report maltreatment and abuse and 61% were not aware that failure to report is a misdemeanor. In another study by Walsh and Jones, 25% of participants do not know where to report, 25% don’t know what is expected, and 31% of participants lack knowledge about abuse (2015). More than 60% of participants believe that the reporting process needs to be improved (Walsh and Jones 2015).
CornerHouse believes that all mandated reporters need training on making a report, understanding the screening process, and having conversations around disclosure. We have been training on Mandated Reporting since 1995, but in 2016 we revised our curriculum. Participants in our training learn to respond sensitively and effectively to an individual's initial disclosure of abuse, neglect or maltreatment through lecture, role play activities, and discussion. The training details a four-step, semi-structured process for conversations around disclosure. It also examines each step of making a mandated report, and what happens after the report is made. This past August, a participant in our training commented, “In my experience, having to collect minimal facts occurs more then we all like to admit and discuss. I think this should be known so everyone can be more aware.”
Starting in 2019, we are expanding the reach of our Collecting Minimal Facts Training. Now CornerHouse will offer it for individuals in Minneapolis. Our first offering is April 2, 2019 from 1:00-4:00 pm. Sign up today! For more information and to register, you can visit our Collecting Minimal Facts class page.
Myers, J.E.B. (2008). A Short History of Child Protection in America. Family Law Quarterly, 42(3), 449-463.
Walsh, W. A., & Jones, L. M. (2015). A Statewide Study of the Public's Knowledge of Child Abuse Reporting Laws. University of New Hampshire: Crimes Against Children Research Center. Download here.
Walsh, W. A., & Jones, L. M. (2015). Factors that Influence Child Abuse Reporting: A Survey of Child-Serving Professionals. University of New Hampshire: Crimes Against Children Research Center. Download here.