This study aims to identify the barriers that prevent community nurses in Israel from reporting cases of child maltreatment.
A qualitative study included interviews of 20 community nurses using questions that focused on the following subjects: knowledge of the law and reporting methods, barriers to reporting and the nurses’ outlook on child abuse.
Nurses felt they have a lack of the professional knowledge needed to identify suspicious signs. Furthermore, finding indicates that there is a lack of understanding regarding the term “reasonable suspicion” under the law among nurses, and a lack of familiarity with the postreporting procedure. The duty to report is not, by itself, sufficient to increase the rate of reporting. The training in this area is insufficient.
Policymakers must formulate clear rules to identify various forms of harm in children and determine the existence of a “reasonable basis” to believe that a crime has been committed among community nurses in Israel so that they can fulfill their legal and moral duty.
Reporting abuse is a professional duty enshrined in law. The enactment of this law in Israel in 1989 created a new reality, designating a legal and moral obligation, on the part of society in general, as well as professionals, to break the code of silence surrounding child abuse. However, the present findings suggest that the rates of reporting among community nurses remain low. As of yet, no research has been conducted as to why nurses are not reporting suspected cases of abuse in Israel, despite the continued existence of this law.
Sela Vilensky, Y., Grinberg, K. and Yisaschar-Mekuzas, Y. (2022), "Why is reporting so hard? Barriers to fulfilling the duty to report among community nurses in Israel", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 265-280. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-02-2022-0009
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