Can the Department of Human Services create objective guidelines and uniform reporting standards for personnel tasked with protecting children from abuse while preventing the tragedy of unjustified family separations?
Child Abuse & Unjust #FamilySeparation needs to be based on Compelling Evidence
Child abuse is a very serious, deplorable offense that has no place in a just society, and recent high-profile cases of child abuse have underscored the importance of protecting children from abuse. In preventing future such tragedies, the resolution states, while the balance is delicate between erring on the side of caution or deciding against reporting any level of suspicious activity, the bonds between family members – especially parent and child – are developmentally important and should be jeopardized only under compelling circumstance based on evidence in the interest of protecting the child.
DHS needs to Improve Standards of Child Abuse Reporting
This, in effect, puts the Department of Human Service’s practice of reporting any incident that may be suspected to be child abuse under scrutiny. The lack of objective reporting standards and the risk of liability for mandated reporters incentivizes the reporting of all incidents as suspected child abuse, regardless of evidence. Such policies have the adverse effect of causing a proliferation of reporting without adherence to standards, protocols, or guidelines regarding the merits of such reports, and a lack of definitive standards as to what qualifies as reasonable grounds for reporting incidents as possible child abuse opens the possibility of subjective reporting influenced by cultural or other biases instead of factual evidence.
Base Child Abuse on Evidence, Not Intuition! A call for Better Protocol
Reports of suspected child abuse which are not backed by any evidence but instead rely on the intuition of personnel who are incentivized to report all incidents while lacking established, objective criteria can cause significant risk and hardship for families subjected to unjustified separations. Every effort is needed to ensure that cases of child abuse are properly identified, reported, and prosecuted. Adherence to a clearly defined set of guidelines and uniform reporting standards could increase organizational efficiency and effectiveness in accomplishing this goal.
Child abuse is both a serious crime to commit and a serious allegation to make, and the consequences of a false report of child abuse carries profound consequences for families.
Americans need the Department of Human Services to examine where the implementation of objective, uniform reporting criteria will prevent the unjustified separation of families and increase the Department’s effectiveness in identifying and targeting legitimate cases of child abuse!
False Allegations Child Abuse
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