Social Work Online Course Reporting Situations
Sample cases to demonstrate reporting considerations.
- You are counseling a parent to resolve anger issues. You are told that Julie, her 10-year-old child, recently stole some articles from the local drug store and your client spanked her, leaving bruises and welts.
- A female student, 15, has come to you and disclosed that she has been engaging in sexual intercourse with her mother’s 38-year-old boyfriend for the past two months. The boyfriend has resided in the home with the child and her mother for the past five years and is responsible for the care of the child when the mother is at work.
- A mother delivers a baby that has neonatal drug withdrawal. When talking to the mother, you learn she has not prepared for the baby to come home.
- Joshua, 7, was brought to the ER by his parents. Upon medical evaluation, he is diagnosed with a life threatening illness requiring an emergency surgical procedure and the likelihood of a blood transfusion. His parents refuse to sign consent forms, claiming that a blood transfusion violates their religious beliefs.
- A mother you are counseling tells you that when her young children are on weekend visits with their father, he spanks them. She admits that the children are not bruised, but she questions his parenting skills.
- You learn from counseling 13-year-old Anna that her father is dealing drugs with his children present. At times, he sends Anna to deliver the drugs to his customers and bring the money back.
- You are making a follow-up home visit. Upon your arrival, you find 12-year-old Rasheem home with five younger siblings, and things are chaotic and out of control. Rasheem has no idea where his mother is or when she will return.
In each of the above cases – try to answer the following questions:
- What indicators are present?
- Is there reasonable cause to suspect abuse or maltreatment?
- Is there a parent or other person responsible for the suspected abuse or maltreatment?
- What are your next steps?
- What will you decide?
- Should this be left to the family?
- Should the family be given assistance to seek community agency or other resource as appropriate?
- Is this reportable to the State Central Register (SCR)?
- Should the police be notified immediately?
Adapted from: Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment/Neglect: Mandated Reporter Trainer’s Resource Guide. New York State Office of Children and Family Services: CDHS/Research Foundation of SUNY/BSC (2009).