Mandatory reporting between legal requirements and personal interpretations: Community healthcare professionals’ reporting of child maltreatment

Hani Nouman, Ravit Alfandari, Guy Enosh, Lilach Dolev, Hagit Daskal-Weichhendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Healthcare professionals working at community-based services have a crucial position in raising concerns about possible child maltreatment. Yet, barriers exist to healthcare professionals adhering to mandatory reporting rules and regulations. Objective: The current study investigated the various forms by which healthcare professionals working in community services manage mandatory reporting, their reasoning and experience with formal requirements. The study has utilized the decision-making-ecology model as a conceptual framework. Participants and setting: The study was carried out in the largest district of the largest health-management organization in Israel, across fourteen sites located at seven cities. Eighteen healthcare professionals of various occupational groups participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Results: The results reveal that out of the of 52 recent cases that have been suspected for possible child maltreatment, only 58 % were reported as legally required. Yet, about half were reported in delay. Practitioners were more likely to report after additional evidence accumulated and increased the level of suspicion or after failing to manage the issue by other means of support. The analysis identified multiple factors that combined to impact the decision-making regarding reporting. Those were clustered around the individual case, healthcare professional, organizational setting, and external context. Conclusions: Our results emphasize the importance of workplace-environmental conditions in promoting optimal reporting behaviors, including working in multi-disciplinary teams, availability of rapid expert consultation, provision of emotional-support, and reciprocal exchange of information with child-protection-services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104261
Number of pages9
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume101
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research , Tel Hashomer, Israel. Grant ID 2016/11/R .

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research, Tel Hashomer, Israel. Grant ID 2016/11/R.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Decision- making-ecology
  • Health care professionals
  • Mandatory reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Mandatory reporting between legal requirements and personal interpretations: Community healthcare professionals’ reporting of child maltreatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this