Mandated Reporting Review and Case Studies

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With the broad range of dilemmas you may encounter in daily practice, integrating professional values and ethics is both a challenge and an opportunity for social workers. In this activity, you will watch a video about mandated reporting laws for minors in Indiana, and then you will reflect on a case study example in the video. You will practice the ability to respond to a dilemma while considering values and ethics, with a focus on cultural competence and professional obligations.


  • Video: Mandatory Reporting Laws for Minors – Indiana

Background Information

Ethical dilemmas are not simply an occasional challenge, as they may be in other professions. They are a regular aspect of practice for social work professionals. The ability to approach these dilemmas with confidence and awareness of your values and ethics is essential, as is the ability to integrate your faith into serving others. Through conversation with your peers, you will continue to build this confidence and awareness. Be conscious of differences in your classmates’ approaches to difficult conflicts and how there may not always be one right answer, but rather a range of options that may be appropriate or best practice.

In this activity, you will specifically consider the difficult, though unfortunately common, scenario of needing to be a mandated reporter, and consider how to meet other social work values and ethics, as well as use culturally competent strategies, when responding to situations of potential child abuse.


  1. Review your knowledge of mandated reporting by watching the first 27 minutes of the video “Mandatory Reporting Laws for Minors – Indiana.”
    1. Keep in mind that laws about mandated reporting vary from state to state and that policies and protocol related to reporting may differ in your field placement and future work agencies. It is important to check in with your field supervisor about how mandated reporting works at your field placement.
  2. The video presents six short case studies starting at the 27:00-minute marker. Write an answer to the question “Would you report this?” for each case prior to hearing others’ responses and the presenters’ explanations.
    1. The presenter pauses briefly after each case and then responses and explanations follow. You should stop the video while you consider your own response.
  3. After responding to all six case studies, navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following prompts:
    1. Choose two of the case studies from the video and discuss the competing social work ethics and values in each case. Identify at least one potential dilemma or conflict you see in each scenario (Indicate which case study you have chosen by identifying the client age and dilemma).
    2. If you were a social work professional in each scenario you choose, working with one of the individuals involved in the conflict, what would your next steps be and why? Discuss at least two action steps you would take.
    3. In each situation, you chose, describe how cultural competence be integrated into a resolution to the conflicts? Provide at least one specific strategy for each situation for responding in a culturally competent manner.

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