Mandatory notification training for suspected child abuse and neglect in South Australian schools

Hawkins, Russell, and McCallum, Christy (2001) Mandatory notification training for suspected child abuse and neglect in South Australian schools. Child Abuse and Neglect, 25 (12). pp. 1603-1625.

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Objective: The present study provides the first empirical investigation of the South Australian Education Department Mandated Notification Training program. This program, which has been available since 1989, was developed to prepare educators and other mandated reporters to fulfill their reporting obligations for suspected child abuse and neglect. The main objective of the present study was to investigate whether Mandated Notification Training achieved its stated aims.

Method: A three-sample independent groups design was used. A survey was responded to by 41 teachers and school personnel who had recently completed training, 31 people who had not completed training, and 73 people who had completed training some years previously. Results: The training program increased participants’ confidence in their ability to recognize the indicators of abuse, their awareness of their reporting responsibilities, their knowledge of what constitutes reasonable grounds for reporting, and of how to respond appropriately to a child’s disclosure of abuse. Training also increased participants’ acceptance of the incidence and seriousness of child abuse. Conclusions: The South Australian Education Department Mandated Notification Training is successful in achieving its stated aims. For some teachers, there is clearly a mismatch between the level of evidence required by law for reporting to occur and the level teachers expect to satisfy their own personal need for confidence in initiating the serious step of a child abuse report. This mismatch remains after training and probably contributes to the significant occurrence of nonreporting or discretionary reporting reported in the literature.

Item ID: 50074
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-7757
Keywords: mandatory reporting; child abuse; teachers
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2017 01:32
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
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