Arabian Child provides child-protection training and other professional development courses for nursery workers.
Staff who signed up for the training were surveyed about their attitudes and beliefs.
More than 95 per cent agreed that child protection was the most important part of their job, and nearly all agreed that schools had a responsibility to keep children safe. But their knowledge about how to report cases was poor. Of the 46 per cent who could identify child protection-related authorities, many pointed to the police, but few were aware of organisations such as the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, which operates a hotline for domestic violence cases.
Ninety-eight per cent of the teachers said they worried about what would happen if they made the wrong judgment in a case. Eighty-four per cent worried what would happen to them personally if they took action.
"The reasons why these mandated reporters fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect include personal fears, issues regarding evidence, and concerns about the system overall," the study noted.
* Vivian Nereim