Should Legal Professionals Report Child Abuse?

Child abuse, very relevant in our society today, but should a question still be asked whether professionals, who work with children, be required to report child abuse where there are suspicion and evidence of its occurrence? It has been a very contentious issue in the past whereby confidentiality at times restricted how much the legal and social professional could do in this type of predicament. In the West, in particular, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, new laws are being championed where reporting child abuse is to become compulsory.

Reasonable cause to suspect child abuse was often not adequate enough to protect the child and to prosecute the guilty party so it might seem to have taken a long time to get to the point of the prosecution. It has, however, come to the point where governments have now recognized and ensured that even a suspicion of child abuse has to be reported to the necessary authorities such as child protection services or the police. The child worker or attorney could be arrested in cases where they do not report such behavior to the necessary authorities.

Child neglect is one of the issues that require reporting. Many legal professionals believe that by reporting neglect, it will assist in protecting children from future cases of physical and sexual abuse., Previous laws have unfortunately only enforced reporting duties to those who work with the ill, infirm and elderly with regards to neglect. By making the reporting of child neglect compulsory is considered important progress.

Legal professionals and social workers are not the people who have been most affected by these changes. The people who have been working in these fields have long been supporting such a necessary change.  The ones that are affected most are reporters and investigators who are often described as being whistleblowers when they do report incidents. By making reporting compulsory, the law actually protects these whistleblowers as they have no alternative choice regarding the matter, because they are expected to report their findings regardless.

Some people believe that compulsory reporting may lead to accusations and false allegations, taking up time that may otherwise be used to protect children who are facing real threats of abuse.  Evidence of the successful conviction of a large number of abusers through compulsory reporting in countries like Australia (who have compulsory reporting laws established), means, however, that making the reporting of child abuse compulsory is a positive move.

If you require child custody or family law attorneys with ample experience in the field, then make sure you contact Joselowitz and Andrews Attorneys as soon as possible!