Heads you win, tails I lose: the dilemma mandatory reporting poses for teachers
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2017, 00:00 authored by M Falkiner, Don ThomsonDon Thomson, Belinda GuadagnoBelinda Guadagno, A Day
Australian teachers are mandated to report instances of child maltreatment should they suspect a child is being maltreated. Some teachers are reluctant to make a report based on suspicion alone. This review examines the barriers that may prevent teachers from reporting. It is suggested that to overcome these barriers and form a reasonable belief that a child is being maltreated, teachers may attempt to seek out proof by questioning the suspected victim. Inappropriate questioning can have detrimental consequences such as wrongful reporting when maltreatment is not occurring, or worse, no report made when a child is being maltreated. Based on the review of the literature presented in this paper and given the changing landscape of mandatory reporting in Australia, research is recommended. First, to determine if the barriers for reporting still hold true and, secondly, to establish the motivations of teachers who may question a child when they suspect maltreatment, along with exploration on how they approach this task.