When I was just starting my MSW program as a student at Fordham University's Graduate School of Service in 1998, I had no idea what they meant in my practice class when they said "we are all mandated reporters", now. What is a mandated reporter? Why? What is "mandated"? What is "reported".
I was a 23 year old, upper-middle class, Ivy-league educated, White woman who had never encountered the child welfare system before. I HAD NO IDEA.
23 years later... I know a lot, and I know the role of a mandated reporter is not easy. I grapple with the problems of the child welfare system, especially as we, as a society, grapple with the disproportionate impact of structural racism built into this system on communities of color (especially Black communities).
"Making the Tough Call" has been a project of mine for over a decade. Over this time, I've been training social workers, social service workers, educational personnel, health professionals, and medical personnel; all well-meaning caretakers who want to do right by the children and families they aim to serve, while also navigating a confusing legal and ethical role as mandated reporters. I've built "Making the Tough Call" to serve as a way to educate, inform, and raise awareness about mandated reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect; the good, the bad, and the really bad.
I welcome questions and concerns that invite a dialogue. Let's explore and learn together.