Decision making factors in child caregiver reporting of child abuse and neglect

Description:

This study investigated decision making factors used by child caregivers to identify suspected child abuse and neglect and collected data on caregiver training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Data was collected in July 1999 in fourteen north Texas childcare programs. One hundred twenty three teaching and administrative staff completed a survey based on Jacobson, A., Glass, J. and Ruggiere, P. (1998). Five teachers and five administrators chosen for convenience were read eleven vignettes describing possibly abusive situations to decide whether they were reportable or non-reportable, and to indicate factors used to make their decisions.

Administrators (50%) and teachers (13.3%) reported being unfamiliar with child abuse and neglect definitions and reporting laws. Two thirds (66.7%) of the administrators and 39.8% of the teachers had received specific training in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. Administrators were more likely than teachers to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Teachers often reported to program administrators rather than state designated authorities. All subjects relied on information about children, but administrators also used information about parents, with teachers more likely to make excuses for parental actions. With 110 reporting opportunities, training was cited as a factor only twice by administrators. No teachers made reports to anyone other than program administrators, a factor named deference in this study. Four of five administrators expected deference from teachers when reporting decisions were made.

Present training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is inadequate. Caregivers need additional training in differences between accidental and intentional injuries, detection of child sexual abuse and emotional neglect, recognition and assessment of injuries among infants and toddlers, and mandated reporting procedures. Further research on optimal training for accurate reporting of suspected abuse and neglect is needed. A mandate to report to authorities outside the child care center should be clarified in state law. Licensing individuals as well as programs would strengthen reporting by caregivers.

Creator(s): Hagen, Carol Kellerman
Creation Date: May 2000
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Total Uses: 3,181
Past 30 days: 46
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Creator (Author):
Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 2000
  • Digitized: June 26, 2007
Description:

This study investigated decision making factors used by child caregivers to identify suspected child abuse and neglect and collected data on caregiver training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Data was collected in July 1999 in fourteen north Texas childcare programs. One hundred twenty three teaching and administrative staff completed a survey based on Jacobson, A., Glass, J. and Ruggiere, P. (1998). Five teachers and five administrators chosen for convenience were read eleven vignettes describing possibly abusive situations to decide whether they were reportable or non-reportable, and to indicate factors used to make their decisions.

Administrators (50%) and teachers (13.3%) reported being unfamiliar with child abuse and neglect definitions and reporting laws. Two thirds (66.7%) of the administrators and 39.8% of the teachers had received specific training in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. Administrators were more likely than teachers to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Teachers often reported to program administrators rather than state designated authorities. All subjects relied on information about children, but administrators also used information about parents, with teachers more likely to make excuses for parental actions. With 110 reporting opportunities, training was cited as a factor only twice by administrators. No teachers made reports to anyone other than program administrators, a factor named deference in this study. Four of five administrators expected deference from teachers when reporting decisions were made.

Present training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is inadequate. Caregivers need additional training in differences between accidental and intentional injuries, detection of child sexual abuse and emotional neglect, recognition and assessment of injuries among infants and toddlers, and mandated reporting procedures. Further research on optimal training for accurate reporting of suspected abuse and neglect is needed. A mandate to report to authorities outside the child care center should be clarified in state law. Licensing individuals as well as programs would strengthen reporting by caregivers.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): child abuse | child abuse reporting
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 47169622 |
  • UNTCAT: b2300464 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc2527
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Hagen, Carol Kellerman
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.