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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Physicians' experiences with the child protection system as a factor in their decision to report child abuse Vulliamy, Anne Petrice


Victims and perpetrators of child abuse will typically not self-report to child protection services (CPS) so responsibility for detection and reporting of suspected child abuse must fall to others. Since physicians are often the first to treat serious injuries in children, they are in an ideal position to report abuse allegations to CPS social workers who are delegated with the responsibility to protect children. Research shows that although physicians are generally aware of mandatory reporting legislation, they are often non-compliant. A recurrent theme which has not been fully explored in Canadian research is the lack of confidence in CPS as an organizational barrier to reporting. To that end, a short questionnaire was distributed to pediatricians at British Columbia's Children's Hospital (BCCH) requesting feedback about their previous reporting experiences to CPS. Results of this study provide useful feedback to organizations such as CPS and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Recommendations include the use of interdisciplinary training and guidelines about collaboration between organizations.

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