Mandating reporting laws

In some jurisdictions it is mandatory to report suspicions of each of the four classical types of abuse and neglect abuse (i.e., physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect).

In other jurisdictions it is mandatory to report only some of the abuse types (e.g., Vic., ACT).

One question many healthcare providers have is whether they have to tell the patient about the report.

State laws typically don't require that the healthcare provider tell the patient about the report, though it is encouraged, if possible.

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Contact security at the healthcare center or contact the local police if there's a real possibility that the patient won't be safe upon returning home.

However, the laws are not the same across all jurisdictions.

The main differences concern who has to report and what types of abuse and neglect have to be reported.

Also, try to enroll the patient in a counseling service of some kind.

There are resources available through most hospitals, and some resources available outside of hospitals, too.

There are also other differences, such as the "state of mind" that activates the reporting duty (i.e., having a concern, suspicion or belief on reasonable grounds - see Table 1) and the destination of the report.

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