Reporting suspicions of child abuse and neglect is an important duty, but certain state policies increase the risk of wrongful CPS investigations that divert limited taxpayer resources from children at imminent risk of harm.
- Texas’ universal mandatory reporting of child abuse, along with laws permitting reporters to remain anonymous, can result in higher rates of unfounded, false, or even malicious reports that subject innocent families to the trauma of child welfare system involvement and waste limited taxpayer resources.
- Nonprofessional reporters of child maltreatment often lack the training necessary to identify cases of child abuse or neglect, which inherently leads to a higher rate of unsubstantiated allegations.
- Anonymous reporting allows individuals to submit false or frivolous claims of child maltreatment with little risk of accountability. Further, anonymous reports are substantiated at very low rates, rendering them of little value for protecting children from abuse or neglect.
- Professional mandated reporters should receive training in alternatives to CPS reports and be permitted to refer families to supportive services in their community in lieu of reporting.