Professionalism and child abuse reporting: A qualitative analysis of prediatricians' experiences under the influence of the Reporting Code in the Netherlands
Lievano Alzate, M.M.
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Child protection policies are, without doubt, a universal concern. Although considerable emphasis has been placed over the professionals' responsibility in identifying and reporting child abuse, rather less attention has been paid to the mechanisms behind reporting practices in relation to processes of professionalization. With the purpose of providing guidance in this field, the Government of the Netherlands is currently promoting the implementation of a Reporting Code for professionals. Little is known about the implications of the use of this Code for professional practice. Within this framework, this study provides a qualitative analysis of the experiences of a non-randomized sample of pediatricians with child abuse reporting, in which one set of th em was working under the influence of the Code. Results show that the Code dos not appear as an influential factor in the pediatrician's decision to report. However, findings suggest that the Code can be considered as a supportive tool which facilitates the reporting of child abuse. Overall, the research findings highlighted in this study raise the question round the effect of regulations and policies for child abuse reporting over the ways in which professionals go about their work.