Future Mandated Reporters: Understanding the Role


  • Sara Golomb
  • Katie Sears
  • Rebecca Drozd
  • Juna Kotori
  • Melissa Vera-Hughes


Mandated Reporting, Child Maltreatment, Graduate Training


Graduate students in medical, mental health, and educational fields have in common that they all will become future mandated reporters. As part of their graduate training, these future professionals may only receive minimal training at best as to how to proceed when faced with reasonable suspicion that maltreatment has occurred. Unfortunately, specific training is not common, leaving graduates exposed and putting the children they serve at further risk. The purpose of this pilot study is to obtain direct feedback from graduate educators and graduate students as to the way the topics of child maltreatment and mandated reporting are incorporated into training programs. Using a survey questionnaire tailored to the level of training for the different respondents, researchers seek to delineate and document the critical need for direct training in these areas. The long-term goals are to provide an exploratory and evaluative study of the strengths and weaknesses of current training practices, all serving to provide a basis to develop and disseminate necessary recommendations to improve pre-service training, protect graduates from liability, and reduce placing children and families at further risk of harm.