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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Knowing the Right Thing to Do 13 Annalise points to red marks on baby Tia’s back as clear evidence of abuse. Which of the following should you do: • Call the Department of Social Services immediately? • Call Tia’s mother to ask about the red marks? • Decide whether to report or not based upon what the mother says? • Co-report the incident with Tia’s mom? Tia’s mom explains she used “coining,” a healing tradition passed down in her Hmong family, to help Tia recover from a budding cold. Mom adds proudly: “Tia is so much better this morning! We are so relieved.” What effect does this information have on your mandated report- ing decision? What is the right thing to do? Do you apply letter-of-the- law principles and report the mother regardless? You may decide to counsel the mother that although you understand her good intentions and appreciate her cultural heritage, other mandated reporters, like her pediatrician’s office, might not. When we take into account spirit-of- the-law and letter-of-the-law factors, our decision becomes more com- plex. Fortunately, this is where the Code of Ethics offers guidance. NAEYC’s Code begins with Core Values, those principles that con- stitute the essence of our professional responsibilities. When we take these principles to heart, we become more confident and competent at thin-slicing our decisions. We agree to: • appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle; • base our work on knowledge of how children develop and learn; • appreciate and support the bond between the child and family; • recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community, and society; • respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, and colleague); • respect diversity in children, families, and colleagues; • recognize that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect (NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, 2005). With core values, we can make a more informed and intuitive deci- sion about baby Tia and her family. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL