|Theses - Social Science & Design AIT
|It is now a legal requirement in Ireland under the Children First Act (2015) for all
those coming into contact with children through their work to report cases of
suspected child abuse or neglect. However, for quite some time the literature has
illustrated complex issues surrounding the reporting of concerns of child
maltreatment (Stanley & Goddard 2002; Horwath, 2007; Brandon, Belderson,
Warren, Howe, Gardner, Dodsworth &Black, 2008; Ferguson, 2011; Buckley, 2014;
The current study expands and contributes updated information on previous
research surrounding the reporting of child abuse. Moreover, it was the first study of
this topic to be conducted since the introduction of mandatory reporting in Ireland.
The aim of the study was to explore the views of childcare practitioners within the
setting of an Afterschool Project regarding the introduction of mandatory reporting of
child abuse and neglect. The practitioners were chosen in this setting as they have a
lot of daily contact with the children using their service.
To fulfil the main goal of the research three objectives were considered. Firstly, to
find out the views of practitioners in relation to mandatory reporting of children
considered to be risk. Next to explore how equipped practitioners felt in relation to
reporting suspected cases of child maltreatment. Finally, the practitioners were
asked to recommend ways they could be assisted regarding the process of
mandatory reporting in their work contents.
The research instrument chosen to conduct the investigation was a qualitative
method using semi-structured interviews, focusing on a small cohort of six
practitioners. The interviews took place between the 15th and 19th of April 2016.
Followed by an examination of the data using a thematic analysis to organise and
give structure to the findings.
The findings were consistent with previous research highlighting complex issues and
fears surrounding the reporting of child abuse. The main findings showed
practitioners had all received training required for reporting concern of child abuse
which is covered in the Children First Guidelines (Department of Children and Youth
Affairs, 2011) (DCYA). However, the practitioners believed they would benefit from
taking a refresher course. The evidence also indicated varied practices being used
surrounding the process of reporting. Furthermore, the results identified a gap in the
training of the Children First Guidelines (DCYA, 2011) for some members of the
agency. In addition the need to identify the designated liaison person within the
agency to all members was signposted.
Overall the results inferred a general understanding of mandatory reporting.
However the main findings highlighted above showed insufficiencies in the following
of procedures outlined in the Children First Act (2015). The implication for practice is
matters concerning child protection may not be deal with efficiently. The researcher
thought the evidence of deficiencies could be resolved with further training in the
Children First Guidelines (DCYA, 2011).
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
|Child abuse - Reporting - Ireland
|Child abuse - Law and legislation - Ireland
|Abused children - Ireland - Identification
|Child abuse - Ireland - Prevention
|Dissertation - Master of Arts in Child and Youth Care
|Reporting in practice: a study on childcare practitioner's views towards the introduction of mandatory reporting of children at risk.