To report or not to report: That’s the challenge


Drs. Melva Croes-Yánez


Seminar - Oral Presentation


23 August 2018


To Report or not to Report: That’s The Challenge


Child maltreatment is a pervasive problem in our societies that has long-term detrimental consequences to the (brain) development of the affected child including the child’s social, recreational and vocational options and resources.

We all have a moral and legal duty as a function of our roles to report concerns that involve the safety of children and young people including the responsibility for the protection and health and to keep children safe from harm. Families, the general community, community agencies, police and legislators, all play a part.

Roles may differ, but working in partnership, with a shared understanding of the rights of children, having clean data, the need to support vulnerable families and take actions when necessary, can help build a safe environment for children and young people.

Confronting abuse and neglect can be very difficult. It is often easier to minimize concerns or to avoid considering the possibility that a child or young person may have been harmed or is at risk of being harmed. As a consequence this ‘optimistic attitude’ can leave children unprotected and allow the abuse or neglect to continue and go underreported.

In this presentation Drs. Croes-Yánez will elaborate on benefits of interdisciplinary support in the team in recognizing and responding to concerns of child abuse confidently.

At the end of her presentation Drs. Croes-Yánez will present two examples observed in her clinical neuropsychologists’ work with children suspected of child maltreatment. These two examples include: a case on under-reporting in adult and one of over-reporting in a child.


1. Identify some barriers to reporting child abuse and violence in adults.
2. Describe factors influencing memory recall in interviewing and reporting of childhood sexual abuse.