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End to anonymous reporting reduce false child abuse allegations?

The issue of child abuse has been a growing concern. Unfortunately, while there are children who are in danger of being harmed by their care providers, there are also families who have been traumatized by false child abuse allegations. Though California has its own laws guiding how these reports are made, anonymous reporting may be a contributor to these allegations.

Recently, a well-known activist for some social issues was the target of a child abuse investigation. According to reports, an anonymous caller contacted child welfare workers in his state and reported that the children were victims of undisclosed abuse. However, this particular individual was able to resist caseworkers' efforts to interview his children. Now, there are advocates who are calling for a change in the laws that guide how suspected abuse is reported. 

In many situations, if someone is the target of repeated false allegations of wrongdoing, authorities may choose to disregard future allegations based on the lack of previous collaborating evidence. Unfortunately, the reverse is often true of child abuse reports, as workers may see repeated reports as an indication that abuse is more likely. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of all reports are unfounded. It is believed that the ability to remain anonymous emboldens some individuals to make false allegations as a way to harass an intended target.

There are some who are calling for a change from anonymous reporting to confidential reporting. Such a change may lead to a reduction in false child abuse allegations since the individual making the reports could be contacted for further information from authorities. It is unclear whether any changes will be forthcoming. California families who find themselves in the midst of allegations of child abuse are understandably concerned about how their children will be impacted. These individuals are assured of the right to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

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