Mandatory reporting laws require mandated persons to report child abuse and elderly abuse. Texas holds mandated reporters with high standards of responsibility that attract serious consequences for failure of their duties. Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code requires that mandatory reporter have sufficient information before making any report. This paper explores the mandatory reporting laws for children and elderly in Texas, their alignment with APA code of ethics, perspectives of a mandated reporter, pros and cons of mandated reporting, and reference to the module 1 materials.
Mandated Reporting Laws for Child and Elderly in Texas
Children and elderly people experience different forms of abuse such as physical, sexual, financial and neglect (Welfel 2012). The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services establish centers in which individuals can report any kind of abuse to children and elderly. Mandatory reporters can report self-neglect, abuse and exploitation of children and elderly in state facilities. Mandatory laws seek to protect mandatory reporters from any harm (DeLiema, & Gassoumis, 2012). Finally, mandatory reports should work towards reporting the abuse cases as soon as possible.
Alignment of the Laws with APA Code of Ethics
The APA codes of ethics seek to establish high standards of confidentiality and privacy. The APA code of ethics follows a set of principles that include integrity, competence, respect for other peoples rights and dignity, professionalism and scientific responsibility, social responsibility and concern for other people welfare (Young, 2017). It is critical that data of the reported cases are safely kept from access by third parties to prevent victimization of people, both the victims and perpetrators (McAlpine, 2008). Texas laws require that mandatory reporters exhibit high standards of professionalism, competence and integrity. These standards are in line with the APA code of ethics that holds high standards of ethical concern. The data gathering process should ensure that data collection and record keeping is professional.
Being a Mandated Reporter
Becoming a mandated reporter for children and elderly means that one has to report suspected abuse for children and elderly with convincing reasons to suspect that the abuse. It would be great to be a mandated reporter particularly when one has contacts with the children and elderly thought to be victims of abuse. It is a way of helping the vulnerable in the society. However, it comes with various risks for both the reporter and the victims.
Pros and Cons of a Mandated Reporter
A mandated reported enhances that the victims of the law are safe since it links them to experts or services that provide useful information on helping out their predicaments. Reporting these cases increases the capacity required by the authorities to have a clear understanding of child and elderly abuse (McKenna, 2010). Some of the disadvantages related to the use of this law are that it puts the victims in danger as well as the mandated reporter. It may also stab the ego of the victims thereby restraining their relationships with co-workers, their confidentiality, and self-determination.
Relationship with Other People
Becoming a mandated reporter may strengthen as well as weakness an individual relationship with other people (McKenna, 2010). When a case becomes successful, victims may develop a strong relationship with the mandated reporter but at the same time create enmity with the perpetrators.
References to Morals/Values in Module 1
Morality is a reference in a manner which people behave and interact with other people. Privacy and confidentiality of information is a high regard while executing duties particularly those that relate to sensitive information. Data collection and reporting of abuses for both children and the elderly should take place private and confidential manner. Mandatory reporting in society helps to reduce the immorality as unethical individuals are held accountable for their activities.
DeLiema, M., Gassoumis, Z. D., Homeier, D. C., & Wilber, K. H. (2012). Determining prevalence and correlates of elder abuse using promotores: LowIncome immigrant Latinos report high rates of abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(7), 1333-1339.
DFPS - Report Abuse or Neglect. (2017). Dfps.state.tx.us. Retrieved 12 November 2017, from https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/contact_us/report_abuse.asp
McAlpine, C. H. (2008). Elder abuse and neglect.
McKenna, A. (2010). Reluctant to report: The mandated reporting practices of child care providers.
Welfel, E.R. (2012) Ethics in counseling and psychotherapy: standards, research and emerging issues (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole.
Young, Gerald. (2017). Revising the Apa Ethics Code. Springer Verlag.
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