Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kieran Fogarty

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Curtis

Third Advisor

Dr. James Henry


Child care providers spend far more time with children under age 3, the most likely to suffer severe and fatal abuse and neglect, than any other mandated reporter. Their close relationship with both the child and the family places them in a unique position to observe signs and suspicions of abuse or neglect and to make timely reports to Child Protective Services (CPS). Yet despite this, child care providers rank last among mandated reporters in both reporting suspicions of abuse and neglect and in actual substantiated reports. Only a handful of studies have looked specifically at the decision-making practices of child care providers in reporting suspected abuse and neglect. This study is the first to investigate a national sample of child care providers. This is also the first study to specifically focus on the mandating reporting practices of child care providers working in licensed child care homes. Results of an anonymous online survey indicated child care providers working in a child care center were far more likely to report abuse and neglect than child care providers working in child care homes. In addition, providers were confused about their legal responsibilities, felt nonacademic training on abuse and neglect was more beneficial than training received in an academic setting, and families and providers alike had mostly positive experiences with CPS.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Social Work Commons