Kenny, B. (2000). Policy Briefing 4: The Case for Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/860
The past decade has exposed the reality of abuse and neglect, both past and
contemporary, visited on children in Ireland. It has highlighted the inadequacy of our
collective concern for vulnerable children over many decades, yet driven a series of
important measures which have improved our capacity to respond to their needs today.
Nevertheless, there is too much in our approach to date that is piecemeal and reactive as
opposed to visionary, pioneering and comprehensive.
Although a succession of inquiries, official reports and political manifestos have called
for the introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse as one part of the challenge
of providing better protection to children, it is still awaited. It has proven to be a very
controversial and divisive issue, particularly amongst professionals. Often the debate
has centred on the issue of mandatory reporting in isolation. Barnardos has consistently
held the view that mandatory reporting is an important element, amongst many others,
in strengthening our capacity to deal effectively with the horror of child abuse and
neglect. We know that opposing views are held with integrity but we challenge their
validity. Yes, we know that mandatory reporting is not without its complexities but,
fundamentally, it makes a statement that the physical, sexual and emotional abuse and
neglect of children is not acceptable in Ireland nor is the failure to report it. More than
anything, it puts children first.
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