Youth Services Law

Showing 2 posts from May 2012.

Misuse of Research

I found a very interesting post at PsychCentral about a string of journalists and bloggers who recently misquoted a research study.  The current claim is that 1 out of 10 employees on Wall Street is a psychopath. It turns out, according to the original author of the research, that it's not 1 out of 10, it's not Wall Street employees, it's not the clinical definition of psychopathy, and the study's too small for a generalized conclusion.

The article's author takes journalists to task for quoting the claims of experts without checking out the underlying study.   It is an event stronger cautionary tale for lawyers. We, after all, are supposed to be biased advocates, seeking out evidence that supports our clients' arguments.  This is one instance, however, where research that sounds too good to be true really is not true.

New Mandated Reporter Law for Georgia

Georgia has a new mandated reporter law, effective July 1, 2012. The amended statute, OCGA § 19-7-5, will require a report by any employees or volunteers of an organization that "provides care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs, or shelter to children."  The law also clarifies that "school" means any public or private school, pre-K through technical or college level.

The statute keeps the current procedure allowing an employee or volunteer to report to a supervisor, who then must report the suspected abuse.  The trigger remains "reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused."  The report must be made to a state child welfare agency, or to "appropriate police authority" or district attorney.

The statue also retains the current definitions of physical and sexual abuse, which do not encompass child-on-child abuse.  Thus, the statute does not require a report to child welfare or law enforcement of bullying or sexual acting out by children.  Licensing guidelines, however, may require a report, so be familiar with those requirements for your organization.

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