Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds: A Call to End Mandated Reporting Laws

Inguanta, Gemma; Sciolla, Catharine

Mandated reporting laws are pertinent to practitioners of “helping professions,” such as social workers, doctors, nurses, and teachers. These laws dictate that a professional or student in those fields must report suspected child maltreatment to the state for investigation. The report, as well as the investigation that follows, has the potential to result in removal and separation of children from their parents or caretakers. The child welfare system of which mandated reporting is a component has a cruel history of racism and white supremacy, as well as prejudice towards those experiencing poverty, disabilities, mental health concerns, homelessness, and substance use disorders. This research examines the disproportionate harm the child welfare system has on Black and Brown individuals, particularly in New York, and how the system has used mandated reporting laws to further marginalize oppressed communities since the 1970s. This research indicates the need to comprehensively reimagine the erroneously named “child welfare system” starting with repealing mandated reporting laws in the United States.


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Also Published In

Columbia Social Work Review

More About This Work

Published Here
August 29, 2022


Mandated Reporting, CPS, Child Welfare, Family Regulation System, Abolition, Racism