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Reporting Suspected Child Maltreatment: Legal and Ethical Issues

Kathryn Krase, PhD, JD, MSW

CE Credit: 2 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | Nutrition & Dietetics CE | School Psychology CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Video

Course Abstract

Reporting Suspected Child Maltreatment: Legal and Ethical Issues is a 2-hour video continuing education (CE) course that outlines the legal requirements for reporting suspected child neglect and abuse.

Many professionals throughout the United States are mandated reporters of suspected child maltreatment. However, the legal requirement to report is often confusing to navigate in relation to other professional and ethical responsibilities. This workshop provides profession-based context to the role of mandated reporter.

The course opens with a brief history of mandated reporting and the changes to mandated reporting laws over time. We then discuss who is considered a “mandated reporter,” when a report to Child Protective Services (CPS) is necessary, and the concerns regarding under and over reporting.

A detailed discussion highlights the risk factors and indicators of maltreatment and provides specific definitions and examples of the four types of maltreatment (neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse).

Mandated reporters explore a framework that can guide their decision in making the “tough call” of whether to file a report to CPS or not, using research findings and practical advice based on real case examples.

Course #21-56 | 2022 | 2-hour video & handout | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Specify when it is required by law to make a report to child protective services
2. Identify three ethical, moral, and legal conundrums faced when making the decision to report
3. Name four child, parent, and environmental risk factors for child maltreatment
4. List six indicators for each type of child maltreatment (neglect, physical, sexual, emotional)
5. Describe appropriate communication techniques to use with clients prior to, and after making, a report
6. Explain how to apply a framework for guiding the process of deciding whether to make a report

AOTA Approved Provider

Professional Development Resources is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education (#3159). OT Content Focus - Domain of OT: Context and Environment; OT Process: Evaluation. This program is offered for 0.2 CEU's. The assignment of AOTA CEU's does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Participant successfully completed the required assessment component for this activity.

As part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Approved Provider renewal process, AOTA is requesting that participants of this course complete a short online survey about your continuing education experience with our organization. Completing this survey will enter you into a quarterly drawing for a $100 voucher for AOTA publications or CE. To access the survey go to http://www.aota.org/appsurvey.

Thank you for your participation.


This video course provides instant access to the course video, course handout, and the CE test. The CE test is open book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while watching the course video).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation.

About the Author(s)

Kathryn Krase, PhD, JD, MSW, is the principal consultant and owner of Krase Consulting, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm with experience in child welfare systems, higher education, non-profit management, and youth sports coaching. Dr. Krase is an expert on the professional reporting of suspected child maltreatment and has authored multiple books and articles on the subject. She has years of experience consulting with government and community-based organizations to develop policy and practice standards. As part of her extensive work to educate and support healthcare professionals to intervene and protect children, when necessary, while respecting and supporting family integrity whenever possible, Dr. Krase offers training, resources, blogs, podcasts, and consultations through her website, Making the Tough Call.

Financial: Kathryn Krase receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources. In addition, Dr, Krase is paid for services provided through her consulting firm and for presenting professional development and training for healthcare professionals. Dr. Krase has authored and co-authored multiple books and papers and receives royalties for some, including Making the Tough Call, Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Child Welfare, Preparing Social Workers for Practice in the Field.

: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.