Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Discussion of Emotional Abuse Scenario 2

The correct answer for Scenario 2 is Yes.

The situation referenced in Scenario 2 should be reported to DFCS as neglect.

Abuse of the mother in front of a child constitutes emotional abuse of the child. Mandated reporters are required to report emotional abuse.

Key Concepts in Scenario 2:

  • Abuse of another (including pets) in front of the child is emotional abuse of the child and requires a mandated reporter to report.
  • Never assume that an individual from another agency involved has heard the same allegations reported to you in the same way or fulfilled their duty as a mandated reporter. You report what you know.

Features of Scenario 2:

The student reports that the police were involved and that an arrest was made. It would be easy for a mandated reporter to assume that the police made a report to DFCS; however, making this assumption is dangerous and inappropriate. Always assume that you are the first one to hear the information in the form it is being told to you and follow mandated reporting guidelines to make the required report regardless of whether a mandated reporter from another agency has been involved.

While domestic violence in the home is terrible under any circumstance, the fact that this student saw the violence occur in front of her crosses the line to emotional abuse and requires a mandated reporter to act.

While the father is clearly the aggressor in this scenario, the mother’s behavior can be considered emotionally abusive too. She could have locked herself in the child’s room to protect herself and the child, but the decision placed the child at emotional risk.

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