Just about anyone can report a parent to a child abuse hotline. It’s meant to protect children, but often, parents are reported when no abuse or neglect exists in order to retaliate for a divorce or some other grievance. Some parents are reported for merely letting children play outside or walk to school without an adult in attendance, what was once thought of as normal. Some activists say this robs children of independence. An expert and a woman who went through an unjustified child abuse investigation discuss.
- Corey Widen, mother reported to child abuse hotline, Wilmette, IL
- Rachel Ruttenberg, Director of Policy, Heartland Alliance
I am a little disturbed by the “Should We Report Bad Parents” on the radio this morning. I graduated college in 1968 and returned to NYC and got a job as a caseworker for Children’s Services. The powers that be were just acknowledging the need for Child Protection and began developing protocols. . We have come along way in learning how to deal with the problem. On today’s show the mother’s view point was understandable but fortunately reports sometimes save children’s lives. At one point when the Mandator reporting was developed I was assigned to be a trainer for Welfare workers. While there some of the young women said that they did not consider that part of their job. Over the many years I worked in various children’s services such as foster care, adoption, independent living and day care. The answer to problems in the system is not to not to deny the need for any child protection but to train the workers and the public about it and how to handle it well.