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Mediators as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse: Preserving Mediation's Core Values


Art Hinshaw


Arizona State University


Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 34, 2007

Abstract:     
This article addresses the various problems mandatory reporting requirements place on the mediation process. Currently the states disagree as to whether mediators should be mandatory reporters, and some states split the mediator ranks into groups of mandatory reporters and permissive reporters based on their professional fields other than mediation. This article explains the reporting statutes and how they affect mediators, but more importantly, it addresses the question of whether mediators should be mandatory reporters of child abuse.

A reasoned look at the policies behind mandatory reporting and mediation reveals that mandatory reporting is already enmeshed in mediation's primary goal, improving outcomes for all parties affected by mediation, which includes children. Because neither a child's best interests nor society's best interests are served if mediators allow possible abuse to continue without further investigation, mediators should be mandatory reporters of abuse. In a mandatory reporting environment, preserving mediation's core values is essential for its continuing vitality as a dispute resolution mechanism in family matters. This article also lays out practice pointers designed to manage the negative impact mandatory reporting may have on mediation's core values.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

Keywords: mediation, dispute resolution, child abuse, mandatory reporting, divorce, child custody

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Date posted: October 14, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Hinshaw, Art, Mediators as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse: Preserving Mediation's Core Values. Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 34, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=937501

Contact Information

Art Hinshaw (Contact Author)
Arizona State University ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
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