This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
Insights Insights
| less than a minute read

Study: Pandemic School Closings Did Not Affect Mandated Reports

One long-running question is whether school closures caused cases of child abuse and neglect to fall through the cracks. The concern was that, because children were not often encountering mandated reporters in person, cases of maltreatment would continue without detection. Researchers recently published a study of Virginia schools, and found that “there were descriptively more referrals” when schools reopened, but “these differences did not reach statistical significance.” The biggest difference was between counties. When the researchers compared each county's referrals during school closures to those after reopening, they found no statistical difference.

The researchers also found, consistent with most other studies, that the vast majority of referrals involve neglect rather than abuse. This finding is in line with current criticism that mandated reporter laws don't reach their objective of preventing active abuse.

Subscribe to Taylor English Insights by topic here.

Our findings suggest that child maltreatment is driven primarily by underlying differences in counties (namely, poverty) rather than the type of schooling children receive.


mandated reporter, coronavirus, youth services law, ausburn_deborah, insights