What should I do if I suspect abuse but my employer discourages me from reporting, because they do not want to deal with legal issues?
My best suggestion is to report it. Informing your employer, your agency and/or your human resources department about what you know is really important. You have that responsibility; your credential is on the line, and the welfare of an individual is on the line. It may seem like and “easier said than done” situation. But the laws state that you still have to report.
Your employment status is protected -- state laws state that very specifically. If you then say to yourself, “Do I want to work in a place where I think they are out to get me because I have followed through with reporting?”, then provide your employer with the resources that you have access to. They may simply be confused about the reporting process. They may think that very clear evidence must be possessed in order to report. However, reporting based on suspicion is sufficient; and still needs to be reported. Many individuals do not realize that.
Ms. Angie Sterling-Orth, Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Associate Professor, earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees in Communication Disorders from UW-Eau Claire. She has spent the past 14 years at UW-Eau Claire supervising in the clinic, teaching graduate level coursework (grad essentials and school methods), and undergraduate coursework in language disorders, aural rehabilitation, and fluency disorders. She specializes in serving individuals who stutter, school-based SLP services, and using innovative technologies for instruction and service delivery.