This article was originally published in The North Carolina Psychologist, Vol. 69, No. 4: Fall 2017.
Most psychologists will—sooner or later—learn about a case of suspected child abuse, neglect, death, or dependency that needs to be reported to proper authorities. They may only have a general awareness about what needs to be done. And even clinicians who face this situation regularly may have picked up bits of common wisdom about child-abuse reporting that are just not true.
We are lawyers who represent psychologists, and our clients frequently ask us questions about what needs to be reported, and how. Moreover, we see cases where clinicians’ failure to report led to licensing-board complaints. So, here is a compilation of our answers to the questions our clients have asked us. (These are practical initial answers, and we will try not to just parse the words in the statutes, but to point you in the right direction. If you need to study the statute to figure out what to do, you have had the bad luck to be in a complicated situation and need to get expert advice.)
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