Thursday, March 16, 2023

NCCPR in Youth Today: New York’s mandatory reporter training wants to have it both ways. That’s an improvement.

Long ago, when I was a reporter in Albany, New York, I was approached by a colleague who covered health. He was about to cover a training session for health professionals required to report any suspicion of child abuse and neglect under New York’s “mandatory reporting” law. Knowing I’d just written a book on the failures of the “child welfare” system, he asked for suggestions for questions to ask the trainers. I suggested he ask whether, in addition to telling medical professionals what to report, they also taught them what not to report. 

When he returned, he said he did indeed ask, but “they didn’t understand the question.” The idea of actually explaining to a mandated reporter when not to report was incomprehensible to the trainers. By and large, across the country, that’s still true. But in New York, at long last, they’re learning. 

I just took New York’s new online mandated reporter training course. It is significantly less awful than anything I’ve seen before. It actually does attempt to teach when to report and when not to report. But it still has serious flaws … 

Read the full column in Youth Today