Date of Award

5-7-2016

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Daniel J. Whitaker, PhD

Second Advisor

Julia Neighbors, JD

Third Advisor

Jyll Walsh, MPH, CHES

Abstract

In 2015, The U.S, Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, documented 3.6 million referrals from Child Protective Services comprising 6.6 million children suspected to have been subject to some form of maltreatment. To increase the likelihood of maltreatment being correctly identified and reported, States require certain individuals called, “Mandated Reporters”, to report suspected maltreatment. However, the laws and policies surrounding mandated reporting are not uniform and largely vary across States, which has been correlated with inconsistencies in how child maltreatment cases are reported and treated. Currently, in the state of Georgia, there is no policy requiring mandated reporters to receive training. Additionally, there is no governing or approving body that has been charged with creating a standardized curriculum for the pre-existing mandated reporter trainings. The goal of this project is to produce policy recommendations regarding Mandated Reporting training requirements in hopes of enhancing communication and consistency in the early recognition and reporting of suspected maltreatment in the state of Georgia. This project will focus on the Mandated Reporting present in Georgia, and discuss problems occurring as a result of Georgia’s policies including a lack of policies on specific issues. Additionally, policies from California and Pennsylvania, who have been commended as having coherent and high-quality child maltreatment legislation, will be presented for comparison.

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