A comparison of pre-service training to identify and report suspected child abuse and neglect in Australia and the United Kingdom
McCallum, F & Baginsky, M 2001, 'A comparison of pre-service training to identify and report suspected child abuse and neglect in Australia and the United Kingdom', paper presented to American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference, Seattle, WA, 10-14 April.
This study examines how Australian and British preservicetraining programs incorporate child abuse intervention. Australianstudentteachers complete compulsory training in mandated notification as partoftheir program. Evaluation of student teachers who completed thetrainingindicated that they highly valued it, though they were confused aboutwhomandated reporters were, categories of child abuse and neglect,and whetheror not they had civil immunity if theyreported in good faith. Confusionabout policies and procedures directly influenced their confidenceinidentifying and reporting. In the United Kingdom, pressure overperformancestandards has left the issue of child welfare on hold, though onestandardstates that qualified teachers should demonstrate aworking knowledge andunderstanding of teachers' legal liabilities and responsibilities. Surveysofstudent teachers who participated in training with the newlydeveloped ChildProtection in Initial Teacher Training Tutor Pack indicated that this courseneeded to be integrated into, not grafted onto, the main program.Though moststudents believed teachers had a role in child protection, manyexpressedanxiety and confusion over the issue, including those who feltconfident intheir role related to child protection. Students wanted more thoroughtraining on child protection.