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April 25, 2024 | Report

Mandated Support in Education

Publication Date:



American Federation of Teachers

For decades, educators have questioned mandatory reporting. Does the requirement that we report any possible trauma in the homes of our students actually help children and their families? In every instance?  When might reporting kick off a cascade of possibly harmful consequences? Many educators have been dismayed to see the intrusive surveillance, coercion and painful family separation that sometimes result from mandatory reporting, especially among marginalized families. What is truly best for our students?

The term mandated support, coined by JMacforFamilies, outlines a more expansive approach and a broader menu of ethical options for caring professionals. As legislatures and organizations adopt this alternative approach, the American Federation of Teachers developed this guide for mandated support in education.

Specialized instructional support personnel (SISP)— including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists and school social workers—are key mediators in the mandatory reporting process and often
the first stop for other educators considering how to best ensure a child’s well-being.