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Educating teachers in child protection : lessons from research
conference contributionposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Louise LaskeyLouise Laskey
This paper examines research about child protection preparation of teachers. Such research indicates that the nature of the training required to "do the public good" would differ markedly from that which is currently on offer in most teacher education courses. Whilst teachers have the potential to operate as frontline respondents in combating child abuse, the limitations of their training create a situation in which they are "worried, lacking in confidence and stressed about their ability to comply with mandatory reporting legislation" (Bluett, 2002). The consequences to the community are substantial: not only are there disincentives for teachers to participate in child protection roles and the increased likelihood of poor quality reporting, but children subjected to abuse may be unable to access protective services via the school system. The paper distills the findings of recent studies to identify design parameters for effective teacher preparation in child protection. The paper concludes that a program informed by research has the potential to produce enhanced outcomes for children, teachers and the broader community.