Failure to report suspected child or elder abuse can result in criminal and/or civil liability. There are consequences for false reporting and counselors should be mindful of false reporting laws, as well as immunity statutes and case law. People who report in “good faith” are generally immune from criminal and civil liability. The protection of client confidentiality is a general ethical mandate in counseling. Therefore, the failure to report in a mandated reporting situation can be laden with ethical and legal implications.
As a professional counselor, you are entrusted with sensitive information regarding your client’s lives. It is quite possible that you will be approached and will be required to relinquish this information on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, understanding the legal mandates regarding failure to report is important for not only maintaining your professional career, but for also ensuring ethical counseling practice.
For this Discussion, review the Learning Resources for this week and consider mandatory reporting issues for child abuse, elder abuse, abuse of the mentally ill, harm to self and/or others, end-of-life decisions, HIV positive/AIDS and unprotected sexual activity. Consider the implications of failing to report these issues. Then, explore the existence of statutory requirements in your state or region.
Post by Day 3 two examples of mandatory reporting issues. Then, explain two ethical and two legal implications of failing to report in these examples. Finally, explain whether there is a statutory requirement to report these issues in your state or region. If not, explain your course of action.