Child Neglect Scenario

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I live in New Jersey so the mandated reporter statute consists of any individual who has reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect is required by law to contact the NJ child abuse hotline (1877 NJ ABUSE), DCF’s Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P), or local authorities. Failure to do so the person will be convicted of a disorderly person charge. The report must contain names, addresses of the guardian/parent and child, child’s age (if known), description of the child injuries, neglect or abuse, any evidence of injuries and any information that will assist in the apprehension of the perpetrator.

Anyone acting pursuant of the New Jersey statute section 3 of P.L.1971, c. 437 (C. 9:6-8.10) will have immunity from any criminal or civil liability even in respect of testimony given in court regarding report. If a person reports in good faith and is discriminated against or discharged from employment due to the report they are entitled to file a cause of action for compensation in the family section of the chancery division of the superior court in the county in which the discrimination occurred. If the court finds that there was discrimination the individual shall have reinstatement of employment, back pay and any legal relief as granted by the court.

As a medical professional it is my duty to advocate for the patients under my care. In the case of children, if I suspect a case of neglect or abuse, the division of child protective services is immediately contacted and a report is filed. The incident is recorded by them and they come to the facility to question the guardians, parents or children. Furthermore, the local police is also contacted since the local authorities also need to be notified. When a child comes to the ER with severe injuries or signs or neglect the medical staff is obligated to call child protective services to begin an investigation.

Child Neglect Scenario

Gabriele is a 3 year old boy who is coming to the emergency room via helicopter unconscious due to being found at the bottom of the pool by his grandfather. The boy was resuscitated by the grandfather however never regained consciousness. The ER staff, immediately induced a coma on the boy and lowered his body temperature in order to stop any damage to the brain. The grandfather reports that he went to visit his daughter however he found the boy at the bottom of the pool when going through the yard. The Mother arrives along with the boy’s grandfather and reported that she was in the shower and though that she had locked all the doors. The mother of Gabriele is 19 years old. The nurse will immediately notify the division of child protective services to report a case of neglect.

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