Friday, August 19, 2016

The evil of mandated reporting

Here is a CPS incident in the news:
She and her husband were suspected of child abuse. The daycare center had called CPS to report a bruise on the baby’s chest.

In a sane world, if a daycare attendant wondered about a mark on a child’s chest, she might pick up the phone and call the parent, but that’s not the world we live in. The person at the daycare center really had no option but to call CPS. After all, she didn’t want to lose her job. ...

“The sheriff told us that he thought the birthmark looked like a handprint.” ...

Meanwhile, Skenazy makes the obvious and responsible point that, the mere fact that we have mandatory reporting doesn’t mean the adults in charge of the situation must suspend their adult common sense or their ability to judge the reality of what’s been reported.

These stories illustrate the fact that we must kill off the notion that overreacting to nearly non-existent threats is prudent. Clearly, the daycare provider had been trained, just like the TSA, to treat anything the least bit suspicious as incredibly, overwhelmingly suspicious. Overkill is the government MO. It shouldn’t be. ...

“I would rather see 1 million reports that end up not being an issue than see even one go unreported and lead to serious injury or the death of a child.”
(I mixed up the quotes. Check the source to see who said what.)

The evil of mandatory reporting is understated here.

You may think that the day care worker should have just called the mom for an explanation of the birthmark, and then dropped the matter. Unfortunately, that is illegal.

I once heard of a physician who are was prosecuted for consulting an expert medical professor over whether a symptom was evidence of abuse.

The law requires child professionals to report all suspicions. If he was suspicious enuf to make a phone call, then reporting to CPS is required. The child care worker needs to look the other way and not have any suspicions, or keep calling CPS with accusations that are probably trivial or easily explained.

So these problems are not solved by ppl being reasonable. The only solution is to abolish mandatory reporting of suspicions.

No such fix is likely. The dopey women who work in this field say crazy things like a million false reports being better than some potential real problem going unreported. There is no reasoning with such ppl.


Unknown said...

“Men’s rights activists must wake up and realize that the time for trying to counter the hypocrisy with rationality – with essentially male arguments, using facts and truth, in the hope that sense will prevail – is not going to make any difference to the relentless feminist long march on men” -Herbert Purdy ICMI-16

“Let us be clear, the removal of fathers from the lives of their children is … public … policy“. -Robert Franklin ICMI-14

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great! I am a MFT intern, still working on gaining my hours toward licensure and I really appreciate your bold and common sense perspective. Mandated reporting has gotten out of hand. In my ethics exam, we are basically beat upside the head to report literally anything. Part of the reason is because of scope of practice/competence issues. The argument being that an MFT may not have the requisite experience to effectively evaluate whether abuse is happening so if you file a CPS report, their staff will provide the comprehensive evaluation. This seems backwards to me. If you are responsible for working with a family and/or child, likely you will have much more information and context than a one-time evaluator from a CPS agency. But, really the main reason they emphasis reporting so much is because its a CYA (cover your ass) culture. You can't get sued if you report a suspicion and its unjustified but you can be sued if you don't report and is it discovered later.

Maybe you knew this but thought I would add some context. Keep on calling the industry out though, its needed!