Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Support or Report?

Mandatory reporting means teachers, doctors, or other people legally have to report suspected abuse or neglect. This can impact anyone regardless of actual mistreatment, and the process can be traumatic and damaging. Change is necessary to prevent harm to families.
The+hotline+is+open+to+everyone+however+mandatory+reports+make+up+almost+75+percent+of+calls+according+to+the+Missouri+KidsFirst.
Photo by Zhana Owrey
The hotline is open to everyone however mandatory reports make up almost 75 percent of calls according to the Missouri KidsFirst.

    All across the country, millions of minors are being investigated by CPS for reasons such as neglect or abuse. These reports can be harmful for victims and towards those falsely accused.

   However, in Missouri, only 5 percent of reports last year had evidence of child maltreatment according to the Missouri Department of Social Services.

   This overload of reports could be due to mandated reporters, who make up almost 75 percent of calls to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect hotline. This can be a loss of valuable resources and time towards legitimate abuse or neglect cases. 

   With roughly 9 in 10 cases being dismissed, it can cause stress and trauma for innocent families without cause. 

   Mandatory reporting also poses the issue of targeting Black families, with over half of Black children being investigated before they’re 18. Low income families are also suspected of neglect due to unfortunate circumstances and situations such as homelessness or inability to pay for things like newer clothes or medical care.

   While mandatory reporting can hurt those in false accusations, there’s no solid evidence that the increased reports have been helpful in preventing child maltreatment.

   This can be seen in Pennsylvania when reports increased over 10,000 regarding sexual abuse. However the amount of evidence uncovered for those cases remained the same as before.

  When in a situation of abuse or neglect, a report can make things worse. In a survey done by the Northwest Network and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, they found that the majority of victims that were reported said it made their situation significantly worse.

   When straining our child wellness systems, it actively hurts victims who need the support and resources. Much more suitable alternatives exist, such as the organization Just Making A Change for Families (JMACforfamilies). 

   They have proposed a mandatory support system which would focus on fulfilling needs and community support, rather than focusing on surveillance and punishment.

   Many people are calling for the abolishment or reform of the mandatory reporting system, but the current policies do nothing but create traumatic and harmful experiences for those involved.



More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zhana Owrey, Reporter