Date: July 17, 2017 03:11PM
Cases of emotional abuse are controversial for agencies charged with investigating child abuse and neglect. Emotional abuse in many cases isn't as clear-cut as is physical abuse or even neglect, and is usually far more subjective. What one person would view as an emotionally or psychologically abusive parenting practice might be considered a tough but acceptable act of parenting by another. That isn't to say psychological abuse cannot be every bit as real and damaging as is physical abuse; it's just more difficult to substantiate. Nonetheless, if a person is a mandated reporter, emotional abuse falls under the umbrella of that for which one is obligated to formally report. Even if one is not a mandated reporter, he or she possesses, to some degree, a moral obligation to report any abuse he or she judges with clear conscience to be significant.
Am I correct in my understanding that you have chosen not to make a report to child protective services on the basis of online reviews of the agency? I question the judgment in your decision-making process. Online reviews of such nature are of limited value. The general public cannot know what might have happened to cause a reviewer to be dissatisfied with an agency.
The reviewer might well have a legitimate grievance. Then again, the reviewer may have an ax to grind regarding the agency having done its assigned job on a previous occasion. For that matter, a person making a negative review could even be a disgruntled former employee. The essentially anonymous nature of online reviewing allows anyone to allege virtually anything. Choosing not to report an incident of abuse to child protective services on the basis of the agency having received negative online reviews defies logic.
If it makes you feel any less reluctant to report, I will share that the consensus among mandated reporters I know personally is that if CPS errs, it errs on the side of under-action rather than over-action. Where physicians as mandated reporters are concerned, our reports are almost always at least investigated.
Such isn't necessarily the case with regard to the mandated reports of educators and child-care workers. This is probably due to a combination of limited resources and maxed-out case workers on the part of the agency, to the difficulty in substantiating allegations, and to the reluctance of the state to involve itself too easily in the private affairs of citizens.
In any event, the stories sometimes told of children being separated from their parents for trivial causes are USUALLY fabricated or grossly exaggerated. In medical school, residency, two years of fellowship, and surgical practice, I've made, if memory serves me correctly, eleven referrals to agencies charged with investigating abuse and neglect of children. CPS has NEVER taken further action than I thought was warranted. In some of cases they acted as I would have; in other cases, they did LESS than I would have done had I been in their place.
My assumption is that you are a private citizen rather than a mandated reporter of child abuse or neglect. If you were a mandated reporter, you would be placing your livelihood in jeopardy by failure to report suspected abuse of any kind. If you are a private citizen, whether or not to report abuse is on your conscience. It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that any potential negative ramifications to making a given report of child abuse may outweigh the potential positive outcome, but choosing not to make a report on the basis of YELP or GOOGLE reviews lacks sound reasoning.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2017 03:26PM by scmd.