Every State has developed mandatory reporting laws regarding child abuse and neglect. Therapists and mental health professionals are also required to take part in reporting child abuse. In most cases, if a child is being subjected to abuse a therapist will know, or at least suspect, that the maltreatment of the child is occurring.
Some states have developed exceptions to the law that makes reporting child abuse mandatory for therapists. For example, in some states, if a child has suffered from physical or emotional abuse and they attend regular counseling sessions to remedy the problem, then the therapist may not have to report the child abuse to authorities. This may be the case if the abuse was not a frequent occurrence and if the therapist determines that child is at low risk for being subjected to abuse again.
Although mandatory reporting laws have been developed to ensure the safety of children, many states recognize that in some instances it is not appropriate to require professionals to disclose information that was entrusted to them in confidence.
Most of the states within the United States have developed mandatory reporting laws of child abuse. A child abuse investigation will usually include interviewing all of the people who are living in the house in which the alleged abuse has been said to have occurred.
If the child’s safety cannot be assured, then the child will be taken from their current environment and placed with a temporary guardian. In cases such as this, a court hearing may take place in order to appoint a temporary guardian for the child.
Most states’ laws require that a decision regarding the child abuse investigation be made within sixty days of the onset of the investigation. If it has been determined that the child is safe in the home with their parents or guardians, then the child will be returned home.