Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


The purpose of this study was to identify educators’ perceptions of barriers to reporting child maltreatment. This study used a survey design with self-administered questionnaires. Sixty five teachers from a large southern California school district participated in the study. Quantitative and demographic data was collected using Linkedin and Facebook to recruit study participants. The questionnaires gathered information about their knowledge, training, experience, and professional responsibility regarding reporting suspected maltreatment.

This study found that most educators received training in reporting requirements and were able to spot signs of maltreatment. However, the study also revealed that some participants had a low comfort level and feelings of inadequacy with respect to reporting child abuse and neglect incidents to child welfare services. The findings of this study suggest that school districts and administrators implement a periodic review of reporting expectations, provision of refresher trainings, and use of screening and decision-making tools in order to effectively decrease barriers to reporting. The study also recommends an enhanced collaboration between experienced educators and those with less tenure to help mitigate the underreporting and fulfill their legal mandates. Furthermore, it is hoped that increased training in the area of mandated reporting as well as firm expectations that reports are made will produce greater outcomes for child welfare and build trust between educators and child welfare agencies.

Included in

Social Work Commons