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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98634 Find in a Library
Title: Professional Intervention in the Family (From Child Abuse, P 93-109, 1984, A Carmi and H Zimrin, ed.)
Author(s): M A Somerville
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Springer-Verlag
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Sale Source: Springer-Verlag
44 Hartz Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
United States of America
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: This paper details the child abuse reporting statutes of Quebec and Ontario and considers the direct and indirect risks of harm posed by the implementation of these statutes.
Abstract: The review of the Ontario and Quebec reporting statutes focuses on the duty to report and legal liability for failure to report. In considering the indirect risks of harm posed by the legislation, the author notes that imposing a legal duty to report suspected child abuse has overburdened agencies with cases of reported child abuse, so that they are unable to give adequate time to each case. Another indirect risk of harm is the creation of increased competition in the allocation of scarce resources among social and medical agencies as the heavy caseload of reported child abuse cases calls for an ever larger percentage of the social and medical services budget. A direct risk posed by the reporting statutes is their use as a tool for intervention that violates family privacy and autonomy. Another direct risk of harm is the creation of value-based decisionmaking by extra-familial, nonjudicial persons or bodies, which may yield inappropriate intervention in families. The paper recommends research to determine how child abuse reporting statutes are working in order to reduce their harms and increase their benefits. Fifty-eight footnotes and four references are listed.
Index Term(s): Child abuse reporting statutes; Legislative impact; Ontario; Quebec
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