Reporting suspected child maltreatment: Managing the emotional and relational aftermath

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Journal of Family Social Work, 19(2), 100-112

Social workers who report suspected child maltreatment often struggle with the potential consequences to the client–worker relationship. Families who are reported may have intense feelings and reactions that can lead to premature termination or a compromised relationship that interferes with optimal treatment. This article explores Ontario social workers’ retrospective evaluations of the impact of reporting suspected child maltreatment. Participants described a range of feelings, reactions, and impacts to the therapeutic relationship and clinical work. The subjective appraisals, obtained through an online survey, lead to practice recommendations.

Canadian CW research
Journal article