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Filing a report as a mandated reporter


Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 3 years experience.

So, I feel like I’m in a grey area in a situation and I genuinely am unsure on my course of action. Bare with me and please don’t be too critical. I’m truly trying to do what’s right.

Say you have a family member who routinely speaks about blatant incidents of abuse/neglect on a child of their friends (Black eyes, multiple bruises, going over a day without food). But you have not physically witnessed this first hand. Do you report this? With that said, I am aware as a mandated reporter that if I reasonably suspect abuse or neglect that I am required to report it. But I have not witnessed this first hand, I have just had someone tell me these things. While my gut is telling me that I need to make a report, I also second guess myself on the notion that I have not witnessed these things with my own eyes and said family member tends to be slightly dramatic and thrives on dramatic situations. I genuinely want to do what’s right and I would hate for a child to be suffering and I have indirect knowledge of it, but I also don’t want to cause undue grief if in fact it’s a case of stirring the pot.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Report it. That's not even a gray area.

SineQuaNon, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in ED, Family Practice, Home Health. Has 14 years experience.

I always tell my employees that "It's not your job to investigate or decided if the claim of abuse is justified. It is only your duty to report it." And if I ever even have the slightest HINT that something is amiss, I report. Because the consequences of not reporting are so high. It is the job of CPS/APS to decide if the claim is legit. It's not your job and you haven't been trained to assess and investigate anyways.

Report. Do it now.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

I would report it for no other reason than it may help the situation.

I'm leaning towards reporting it but have you considered talking to your FM about it, saying you think it needs reporting but you want to make sure there's absolutely no exaggeration? And stressing what can happen? I'd you don't want to do that I would definitely stress to CPS that this relative has a history of exaggerating things.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

16 hours ago, SineQuaNon said:

"It's not your job to investigate or decided if the claim of abuse is justified. It is only your duty to report it."

Here here!


Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 3 years experience.

Thank you all. I made a report today. I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing and not helping to blow a situation out of proportion!

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

Definitely report it. If you have reason to suspect, you have to report. It is the law. Hopefully, it will be investigated. It's OK to be wrong, and it's anonymous. Better to be safe than to read about this kid in the newspaper.