Mandated Reporting: A Guide for Graduate Educators of Mental Health Professionals
Students training to be mental health professionals have many legal and ethical issues to master, including understanding their role as mandated reporters. New professionals often receive limited direct training in how to proceed once maltreatment is suspected. Research has shown that with additional training, school staff members are better able to recognize signs of abuse and neglect and are more willing to act as mandated reporters (Bryant & Milsom, 2005; Bryant, 2009; Cruise & Horton, 2001; Hindman, 1999; Pietrantonio et al., 2013; Usakli, 2012). Unfortunately, professional development in this area and pre-service training is often more limited. This article reviews the legal and ethical standards taught to mental health professionals, discusses the barriers that prevent mandated reporting, and provides recommendations for educators on how to teach mandated reporting in the graduate programs at multiple levels to increase preparedness.
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