Faculty

Prof. Theo Liebmann Discusses Mandatory Reporting Laws

Theo Liebmann, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs

Analysis: Mandatory reporting laws could harm children

By Andrew Longstreth

December 1, 2011

Reuters 

But many child welfare experts say that expanding the pool of mandated reporters could end up harming children rather than helping them. For one thing, child welfare investigators may become overwhelmed with specious reports. The time spent on those cases could take away from time investigating real cases of abuse, they say.

“You’d have to employ an awful lot more case workers to deal with all these reports,” said Theo Liebmann, who directs the Hofstra Child Advocacy Clinic. “You’d get some crazy stuff.”

There is no statistical evidence that states with more expansive mandatory reporting laws protect children better than those with more restrictive definitions, experts say. In 1998, the lack of evidence about the effectiveness of mandatory reporting prompted the National Research Council to recommend not extending mandatory reporting laws to include cases of domestic violence.

Read the full article on reuters.com.

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