Kindergarten teachers' experience of reporting child abuse in Taiwan: dancing on the edge


Objective: To explore the experiences of Taiwan's kindergarten teachers when suspecting child abuse. Method: Grounded theory method was used to analyze data from a purposive sample of 20 Taiwanese kindergarten teachers recruited from three kindergartens in Taiwan. Four focus groups lasting between 6090 min were conducted, Data were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: The model of "dancing on the edge" was the substantive theory developed from this study. Four major categorical themes emerged from the kindergarten teachers' work with abused children and their families: preserving relationships, avoiding harm, obligation, and maintaining balance. The dance between advocacy and risk is not easily choreographed and balanced. While attempted to avoid harm, teachers feel the pull of obligation and preserving relationships. Conclusions: Reporting child abuse is more than a legal requirement: it is a social process involving a dance between advocacy and personal safety, A critical analysis on the dynamics and interaction between the child, mandated reporters, institutional system, community and society is imperative. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Children and Youth Services Review



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© 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.