Presentation on theme: "ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law"— Presentation transcript:
1ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntro
2ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntroMODULE 1
3Introduction to the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL)Now let’s take a look at the Child Protective Services System.
4Child Protective Services Law Purpose of the CPSL:Encourage more complete reporting of suspected child abuseInvolve law enforcement in responding to child abuseEstablish services for investigation, protection and rehabilitation for children and parentsThe purpose of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) is:1. To promote more complete reporting of suspected child abuse; and understanding that if there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse, mandated reporters must report.2. To involve law enforcement in responding to child abuse3. And to protect the child and establish services for investigation, protection and rehabilitation for families to make efforts to preserve the family.Rehabilitation services for families involved include:Protecting the child by ensuring the child’s well-being; andPreserving, stabilizing and protecting the family life wherever appropriate, orProviding an alternative permanent family, when it is in the best interests of the child
5History of the CPSL 1975: PA Child Protective Services Law passes 1985: Act 33 requires background checksMay 2007: Act 179 outlines penaltiesJuly 2012: Act 126 ensures 3 hours of training every 5 years for mandated reportersThe Pennsylvania legislature established the Pennsylvania Child Protective Law in 1975.In 1985 Act 33 requires background checks for school employees, child care workers, and others working with children.In May 2007 Act 179 passed. This act outlines penalties for mandated reporters for failure to report.The CPSL Act 126, ensures that those who are in direct contact with children, mandated reporters, receive 3 hours of training every 5 years; and that reports are investigated with competence through timelines and training requirements. The Act requires that Children and Youth workers must complete a minimum of 120 hours of core training and additional training on an annual basis.
6The Child Protective Services System Now let’s take a look at the Child Protective Services System.
7Child Protective Services System Department of Public WelfareChild Protective Services are administered by the Department of Public Welfare through county Children & Youth agenciesIn the Pennsylvania Statute, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has the responsibility for developing regulations to implement State Law, distributes funding, hires the director of Children and Youth Agencies, operates the child abuse hotline called ChildLine, and maintains the child abuse registry.The county Children and Youth Agencies, provide Protective Services for children and are managed at the local level.
8Children and Youth Agencies There are two primary functions of Children and Youth agencies. They determine the services needed:Child Protective Services (CPS) – there has been reasonable cause to suspect child abuse; conducts child abuse investigationsGeneral Protective Services (GPS) – there is concern about something in the home and non-abuse cases requiring supports and services preventing harm to the childIn the Child Protective Service System there are two primary functions of Children and Youth agencies including:Child Protective Services (CPS) – for situations where there has been reasonable cause to suspect abuse; they conduct child abuse investigationsGeneral Protective Services (GPS) – where there is concern about issues in the home and non-abuse cases requiring supports and servicesLet’s look at each in more detail.
9Child Protective Services (CPS) The Department of Public Welfare operatesChildLineStatewide toll-free 24/7 systemReceives reports of suspected child abuseRefers reports to local county agencies for investigation<Read Slide>
10General Protective Services (GPS) Protects the safety, rights, and welfare of childrenAssists parents in recognizing and correcting conditions that are harmful to their childrenAssists parents in fulfilling their parental duties more adequately in a manner that does not put their children at risk<Read Slide>
11Essentials of Life Food Shelter Clothing Supervision Medical care EducationProtection from harmParents and caretakers are responsible for providing children with the essentials of life, which include Food, Shelter, Clothing, Supervision, Medical care, Education, and protection from harm.Failure to do so may result in a referral to General Protective Services for supports and services.
12General Protective Services - GPS General Protective Services preventthe potential harm to a child who meetsone of several criteria.These criteria include:GPS provides services to prevent the potential harm to a child who meets one of several criteria.These criteria include:
13General Protective Services - GPS Lack of parental controlDeprivation of the essentials of lifeIllegal placement for adoption or careAbandonment by parents or guardiansChronic truancyWhen a child:-Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for their physical, mental, or emotional health, or morals;-Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law;-Has been abandoned by their parents, guardian, or other custodian;-Is without a parent, guardian, or other custodian;-While subject to compulsory school attendance, is habitually and without justification truant from school;
14General Protective Services - GPS Habitual disobedienceFormal adjudicationCommitment of a delinquent act under age 10Defined as ungovernableBorn to parents with terminated parental rightsOr when a child:-Has committed a specific act or acts of habitual disobedience of the reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian, or other custodian and who is ungovernable and found to be in need of care, treatment, or supervision;-Has been formally adjudicated dependent, and is under the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its conditions or placements and who commits an act which is defined as ungovernable;-Is under the age of 10 years and has committed a delinquent act;-Has been referred under informal adjustment and who commits an act which is defined as ungovernable;-Is born to a parent whose parental rights with regard to another child have been involuntarily terminated (under 23 Pa.C.S. 2511) within three years immediately preceding the date of the birth of the child and the conduct of the parent poses a risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
15PA Model Risk & Safety Assessments Child Protective Services (CPS)When CPS receives a report via ChildLine, the PA Risk Assessment Form is completed by the county Children & Youth AgencyIn addition the county agency completes a Safety Assessment andConducts the ChildLine investigation.General Protective Services (GPS)When GPS receives a referral from ChildLine, GPS must complete the Risk Assessment and Safety Assessment.When a referral is made directly to GPS, not through ChildLine,GPS can determine to accept or not accept the case.In response to a report or referral, both the Risk and Safety assessments are completed by the county agencies, not the reporter.When Child Protective Services (CPS) receives a report via ChildLine, the PA Risk Assessment Form is completed by the county Children & Youth Agency. In addition, the county agency completes a Safety Assessment and CPS conducts the ChildLine investigation.When GPS receives a referral from ChildLine, GPS must complete the Risk Assessment and Safety Assessment. When a referral is made directly to GPS, not through ChildLine, they can determine to accept or not accept the case.
16Making Referrals to GPS When making referrals to GPS :Describe the facts regarding the situationDescribe the risk of harm or maltreatment to the childWhat efforts the school district has made to remediate the situation, particularly in cases of truancyDocument your referral, the contact person, and GPS responsesNOTE: If not accepted, request reason(s), consult your supervisor and resubmit in writing if you and your supervisor believe GPS services are essential.If you are unsure whether to make a report to ChildLine or a referral to GPS, call ChildLine for assistance, and they will determine how best to direct you.<Read Slide>Next we are going to review some scenarios and you will determine if the situation would require a report to CPS or a referral to GPS.We will review the answer, rationale and the actions you would take.
17Scenario 1 – CPS or GPS?Sally is age 4 and her mother, Betty, is age 24. A neighbor reports that Betty left Sally home alone while she went to a bar to drink with her friends and stayed the night at her boyfriend’s home. The neighbor states that she believes Betty has a drinking problem.CPS report or GPS referral? Why?What actions will you take?<Read Slide>I will give you a moment to consider your answer.<Pause>
18Scenario 1 – Response CPS report or GPS referral? Why? - GPS Referral: This situation would be a GPS referral because no actual harm has come to the child. Issues of abandonment, which could be considered in this case, would also fall under GPS.What actions will you take?- The police should be called as a child was left home alone and there is concern for their safety. A referral to county Children and Youth Services Agency would be made and the neighbor giving you this information should also be encouraged to make a referral. Document your referral and county Children and Youth staff response and contact information.<Read Slide>Please note: Although the police should be called when a child is left home alone and there is concern for their safety, the state of PA has no specific law regarding when it is permissible to leave a child home alone. However, there are several factors that need to be considered as to whether a child can stay alone safely, including, but not limited to: age, maturity level, cognitive skills, capability for calling 911, how many children they will be responsible for, trustworthiness, and so on.
19Scenario 2 – CPS or GPS?Joni is an enjoyable, happy child in day care and loves playing with other children and staff. She lives with her single mother who has a new boyfriend. Recently, she has become withdrawn, angry, and is distressed when staff help her to the bathroom. The staff notice bruises and welts on her buttocks and back.CPS report or GPS referral? Why?What action will you take?<Read Slide>I will give you a moment to consider your answer.<Pause>
20Scenario 2 – Response CPS report or GPS referral? Why? - CPS Report. There are indicators that serious abuse may have occurred with major changes in behavior, mood and physical indicators. There is enough information to have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse.What actions will you take?-Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse. It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services. Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.<Read Slide>Note: The Reporting Process Module will review these actions in more detail.
21Scenario 3 – CPS or GPS?Single mother, Barb, has four children, ages 15, 12, 9 and 5. According to family members, the older children are often running the streets late on school nights; and sometimes appear intoxicated. Their home is described as having no heat source, plumbing in need of repair, and a leaking roof. The children often arrive to school late, hungry, and dirty. The older children have frequent absences.CPS report or GPS referral? Why?What actions will you take?<Read Slide>I will give you a moment to consider your answer.<Pause>
22Scenario 3 – Response CPS report or GPS referral? Why? - GPS Referral. This situation would be a GPS referral because no actual harm has come to the children. However, there are concerns of potential harm and issues of truancy. It appears the essentials of life are not being met. According to the reported information none of the children appear to have experienced any abuse.What actions will you take?A referral to county Children and Youth Services Agency.The family member giving you this information should also be encouraged to make a referral. Document your referral and county Children and Youth staff response and their contact information.<Read Slide>Note: Lack of heat or plumbing is not considered neglect. In order for serious physical neglect, the child must suffer from a physical condition that either endangers the child’s life or development or impairs the child’s functioning. We will learn more about the categories of child abuse in another module.
23Possible Warning Signs of Abuse The Child:Changes in behavior or school performanceHas not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attentionLearning problems that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causesAlways watchfulLacks adult supervisionIs overly compliant, passive, or withdrawnComes to school early, stays late, and does not want to go homePossible Indicators or Warning Signs of abuse <Read Slide content>Many factors can contribute to these listed symptoms that are not the result of abuse and should not be considered in isolation. They can be helpful looking at the entire situation. When considering physical, behavioral indicators, don’t assume that because a symptom is there that they are a victim or if a symptom is not there that they aren’t a victim. These indicators can be helpful in looking at the overall situation. The standard for mandated reporters is simply if there is reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, report it.Information via ChildWelfare.gov
24Possible Warning Signs The Parent:Shows little concern for the childDenies existence of the child's problems in school or at homeAsks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if child misbehavesSees the child as bad, worthless, or burdensomeDemands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieveLooks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs<Read Slide>
25Possible Warning Signs The Parent and Child:Rarely touch or look at each otherConsider their relationship entirely negativeState that they do not like each other<Read Slide>A child’s response to abuse can vary depending on the age of the child, the type, frequency and length of abuse, availability of support for the child and the relationship with the abuser. It is difficult to determine who a child will respond in these set of circumstances or they will impact on the child’s life.The more serious and the more prolonged the maltreatment, the more likely the child will suffer permanent and serious consequences.
26Consequences of Child Abuse Physical and Emotional TraumaPsychological and Physical EffectsSocietal EffectsAlthough Child Abuse may be the primary event, there are secondary consequences as a result of abuse.Often, this is not a one time event. It can last throughout a lifetime.-Individuals that have experienced the trauma of abuse my develop physical and emotional scars that can result in substance abuse, eating and sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, promiscuity, fears, disabilities and cognitive impairment, and death.-Psychological disturbances can present as anxiety and depression, self-destructive behaviors, and impact their education often related to misbehavior, learning problems and adult and peer interactions. As a child and as an adult, it can be difficult to establishing trusting healthy relationships.-The cost of child abuse to society includes: financial loss, unemployment, crime, loss of tax revenues, and the costs of services and imprisonment. Re-victimization can occur.
27What is NOT considered child abuse? Injuries that result from environmental factors that are beyond control of the parent or person responsible for the child’s welfareInjuries that result from accidentsReligious beliefsAccording to the CPSL there are some Exclusions to child abuse, including injuries resulting from an accident and environmental factors beyond the control of a parent or caretaker. (such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical care). The child can be referred to GPS for support and services.In addition, the third exclusion discusses serious religious beliefs that are consistent with bona fide tenets or principles of a bona fide religion and is only in regard to medical practice. In other words, to be a bona fide religion there must be written documentation with an approved IRS non profit tax exempt status. For example, due to these religious beliefs a parent may deny medical/surgical treatment for their child and this would not be considered to meet the definition of child abuse. However, the county agency closely monitors the child in these situations, and seeks court-ordered medical intervention if the child’s life or long-term health is threatened. The family may be referred to GPS for support and services if needed.
28Child Abuse as Defined by the CPSL These are the three components of Child Abuse as defined by the Child Protective Services Law. All three must exist for child abuse to be substantiated:Child - under the age of 18 when the alleged abuse occurredPerpetrator – an abuser that fits into one of four categoriesAct or Failure to Act – the law considers both acts and omissions that cause harm or the risk of serious risk of harm to a childThe law defines child abuse as:Any recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes non-accidental serious physical injury to a child;causes serious mental injury to or sexual exploitation of a child; or creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child.Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child’s life or development or impairs the child’s functioning.<Read Slide>Let’s look at each in more detail.
29Child Child is defined by the CPSL as an individual under the age of 18 when thealleged abuse occurred.
30Perpetrator Parent of a child Persons responsible for the child’s welfareIndividuals residing in the same home as the childParamour of a child’s parentsParent of a child – this may be a biological parent, adoptive parent, stepparent, or legal guardian. They do not have to be living with the child.Persons responsible for the child’s welfare – individuals that provide permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health services, training, or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control. Babysitters, daycare providers, residential care staff, and foster parents are in this category. However, school employees, including teachers, bus drivers, principals, etc., are not in this category, see Student Abuse.Individuals residing in the same home as the child – other individuals who reside in the same home as the abused child who are at least 14 years of age are in this category, including unrelated boarders. No other category has an age qualifier.Paramour of a child’s parents – any individual engaged in an ongoing intimate relationship with the child’s parent, but is not married to the parent. It is not necessary for the paramour to live within the same household as the parent or child.Research shows that child abuse is most often committed by a family member or someone known to the child with 60% being a mother or father; also, paramours and babysitters.Note: If you have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse has occurred due to an act or failure to act by an individual that does not fit into the Perpetrator category, you should contact Childline and they can determine the course of action. Some cases may involve criminal or legal action.
31Act or Failure to Act Five Categories of Child Abuse: Serious Physical InjurySerious Mental InjurySexual Abuse or ExploitationSerious Physical NeglectImminent RiskThese are the 5 categories of child abuse under the Act or Failure to act component. <Read Slide>It is important to remember that although the abuse must meet the legal definition with all three components including Child, Perpetrator, and Act or Failure to Act for abuse to be substantiated - mandated reporters do not determine this. Mandated reporters only need to meet the standard of having “reasonable cause to suspect abuse.” Do not base your decision on your own life experience, or “what I would do”, but on the standards of the law. Is there reasonable cause to suspect abuse? If so, call it in. Remember-you are not the investigator.A breakdown of the percentage of Substantiated reports is as follows: Serious physical injury – 25% of substantiated reports; Serious mental injury – Least of substantiated reports; Sexual abuse or exploitation – 66% most of substantiated reports; Serious physical neglect – 4% of substantiated reports; Imminent risk – 5% of substantiated reportsIn the state of PA like some other states, there can be some confusion between Child Abuse and Corporal Punishment which is permissible in this state where a parent can hit with their hand or an implement, however, they are supposed to be in control of their actions and not hit in anger. Ex. Mom slaps daughter in face. This can present a conflict, but if you have reasonable cause to suspect, you need to call it in and let CPS sort it out.The next section will review the definitions of each of the 5 categories of child abuse. Then we will participate in some activities.
32ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntroMODULE 2
33Definitions of Child Abuse Now let’s take a look at the Definitions of Child Abuse in more detail.
34Definitions of Child Abuse Five Categories of Child Abuse:Serious Physical InjurySerious Mental InjurySexual Abuse or ExploitationSerious Physical NeglectImminent RiskNow lets discuss the five categories of child abuse in more detail.
351. Serious Physical Injury As defined by the CPSL:Must be Recent – The statute of limitations of reporting it to ChildLine is within 2 years of when the abuse occurred; can refer to GPS if it is beyond the 2 years.The act or failure to act causes non-accidental serious physical injury to a child under 18 years of age, including-Severe pain; OR-Significantly impairs a child’s functioning, either temporarily or permanentlySerious Physical Injury as defined by the CPSL must be recent–-If you suspect abuse you must report it.For a physical injury to qualify for abuse, the law qualifies the abuse in one of two ways. Either it causes the child severe pain OR it significantly limits the child’s functioning, either permanently or temporarily. The qualifier here is that the child’s injuries cause him or her to lose the ability to do something,This would refer to a non-accidental type of injury to a child.Approximately 25% of the substantiated reports in PA are for serious physical injury.
36Indicators of Serious Physical Injury Unexplained bruisesHuman bite marksCigarette burnsImmersion burnsSigns of strangulationPattern marksCut marksRecognizing abuse isn’t always easy, but some examples of abuse may be:Unexplained bruises—Most children have bruises from time to time, due to play or accidents, but the location or severity of the bruising may be an indicator of abuse. Areas that may be suspect include bruises on the face, neck or wrists, black eyes, bruised mouth, etc.Bite marks—human bites leave a particular, distinct pattern, note the size and area of the marks. If the bite mark.Cigarette burns or other pattern burns like from an iron may be an indicator of abuse.Immersion burns—where a child is scalded by hot water on the limbs, buttocks or genitals may be indicative of abuse.Signs of strangulation—include ligature or bruising on the child’s neck.Pattern marks—may be on the buttocks, back or other parts of a child’s body and appear to have been made by a belt or whip may indicate abuse.Cut marks—from a knife or sharp object.Other indicators may be broken bones, spiral fractures, head injury or concussion
372. Serious Mental Injury As defined by the CPSL: Serious Mental Injury is a psychological condition that is diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist that:renders the child chronically and severely anxious, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that his/her safety is threatened, orseriously interferes with the child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.This type of injury is the least reported and substantiated in PA. Only about 1% of the cases reported fall in this category. Serious mental injury is not emotional or mental abuse. While both contribute to Serious Mental Injury, they won’t meet the definition of child abuse on their own. It requires that a diagnosis is made by a physician or a licensed psychologist which can be connected/attributed to the act or failure to act of a perpetrator.
38Indicators of Serious Mental Injury DepressionMental or emotional developmental delaysSelf-mutilation or self-injurious behaviorsSuicide attemptsCompulsive behaviorsAntisocial behaviorsDelinquent behaviorsAlcohol or drug abuseNeurotic traitsReview the physical and behavioral indicators. Although, these symptoms are common among abused children, many factors can contribute to these listed symptoms that are not the result of abuse and they should not be considered in isolation.Although a report regarding suspected abuse in this situation may be unfounded as child abuse, the case may be referred to the county agency for support and services. Again, Serious Mental Injury is difficult to prove as it requires a diagnosis that is due to acts or omissions of their caretakers.
393. Sexual Abuse and Exploitation May include physical and non-physical abuse:Engaging a child in sexually explicit conductAssisting others in sexually abusing a childVideotaping, photographing, filming or computer depicting sexually explicit conductRape, sexual assault, etc. of childrenSexual Abuse and Exploitation may include physical and non-physical abuse:Engaging a child in sexually explicit conduct through coercion, enticement or persuasion.Assisting others in sexually abusing a child.Any simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of videotaping, photographing, filming or computer depicting.The rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, molestation, prostitution, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of children.Approximately 65% of the reports of abuse in PA are of sexual assault. In the majority of these cases, the perpetrator is someone close to the child, including family members and close acquaintances. CPSL standards in defining sexual abuse mirrors the criminal code and it is a category that would be referred to law enforcement for criminal investigation.
40Physical Indicators of Sexual Abuse Injury to the genitalsSTDsRecurring bladder or urinary tract infectionsSuspicious stains, bleeding or soreness in the genital areaPainful bowel movementsPregnancySome indicators are obvious as a result of the abuse, however, most of the time the child does not exhibit any signs of abuse.Again, other factors can contribute to these listed symptoms that are not the result of abuse and should not be considered in isolation.
41Behavioral Indicators of Sexual Abuse Verbal disclosureInappropriate sexual behaviorInappropriate sexual knowledge for ageLayered or inappropriate clothingHiding clothingLack of interest or involvement in activitiesReview slide of physical and behavioral indicators. Again, other factors can contribute to these listed symptoms that are not the result of abuse and should not be considered in isolation.In most Sexual Abuse and Exploitation cases, you will not see visible signs of sexual abuse, behavioral indicators may be the first clue you have that a child is being sexually abused. If you have a reasonable cause, you should report.If a child tells you they were a victim of any type of sexual abuse, you have an obligation to report.
424. Serious Physical Neglect As defined by the CPSL:Persistent and prolonged failure to meet the physical needs of a childEndangers the child’s life or development, ORImpairs the child’s functioningArises from repeated or prolonged lack of supervision, ORFailure to provide the essentials of lifeThis type of abuse accounts for approximately 4% of the reported cases in PA and is unique to PA in its definition.<Read slide>Serious physical neglect often occurs from circumstances that have gone unaddressed for a period of time and/or that repeatedly occur. Often they could have initially been referred to the county agency, but were permitted to worsen over time and are now considered neglect/abuse.
43Indicators of Physical Neglect Failure to thriveDelays in physical developmentPersistent hungerSpeech disordersPoor hygieneInappropriate dressPositive toxicologyConsistent lack of supervisionChronic truancyUnattended physical or medical needsAbandonmentReview the slide regarding physical and behavioral indicators. Although these symptoms are common among abused/neglected children, many factors can contribute to these listed symptoms that are not the result of abuse and should not be considered in isolation.Neglect can be difficult to identify, because some of the signs may actually be related to issues other than neglect. However, it is better to report than not to report if you suspect abuse. For example, children who are chronically hungry or have poor hygiene may not be the victims of abuse, but the signs may be directly related to poverty and it’s effects.
445. Imminent Risk As defined by the CPSL: Any recent act, within 2 years, failure to act, or series of such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation.Something WOULD have happened if it not had been for-Happenstance-Third party intervention-Actions of the childIf not by these interventions the injury would have been serious and it would have caused the child severe pain; or significantly impaired the child’s physical functioning.Imminent Risk is threatened to harm. It addresses circumstances where the child was not actually harmed, but would have been had it not been for happenstance, intervention of a third party, or the actions of the child.For example, a mother throws an iron at a child’s head, which ends up breaking a lamp and misses the child only because the child ducked behind the furniture. The child’s action in this example prevented what would have happened - causing serious physical injury.
45Imminent Risk Limitations Imminent Risk is limited to:A child under 18 years of ageIncidents which occur within two years of the date of the report;Non-accidental serious physical injury as defined by CPSL;Sexual abuse or sexual exploitation in the CPSL; andPerpetrators as defined by the CPSL.<Read slide>While we have reviewed the definitions of the 5 categories of child abuse as defined by the CPSL, remember, it is not the reporter’s job to determine the type of abuse. The standard for mandated reporters is simply if there is reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, report it. The county agency will do the investigation.
46Check your understanding Please answer the following true or false statements:Signs of physical injury can include bruises, burns, and human bite marks.-- True or False?If a child exhibits promiscuous or provocative behavior, s/he is exhibiting signs of serious mental injury.<Read Slide>Answers:TrueFalse
47Check your understanding 3. Sexual abuse and exploitation can be considered both physical and non-physical abuse.-- True or False?4. Imminent risk takes into account things such as happenstance, the intervention of a third party and/or the action of a child.<Read Slide>Answer:3. True4. TrueNext let’s review Reporting Suspected Child Abuse
48ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntroMODULE 3
49Reporting Suspected Child Abuse Now let’s take a look at the Child Protective Services System.
50Reporting Suspected Child Abuse Two categories of reporters:PermissiveThose who canMandatedThose who mustAs mentioned earlier, there are two categories of reporters of child abuse, permissive and mandated.Permissive Reporters: Everyone and anyone can be a permissive reporter of child abuse and may make a report of suspected child abuse.Mandated Reporters: are those individuals who come into contact with children in the course of their employment, occupation, or practice of their profession. They are obligated by law to make a report any time they have a reasonable suspicion that a child they are aware of through their employment has been abused.Mandated reporters include, but are not limited to:doctors and nurseshospital personnelteachers and other school employeesschool administrators, andlaw enforcement officials.Contracted employees, such as food service workers and bus drivers also fall into this category, because ultimately their funding comes from the school district.It does not matter where abuse occurs, what matters is if you know the child from the course of your employmentPermissive reporters may report anonymously; mandated reporters may not.
51Mandated Reporters Right to Know Mandated reporters are entitled to certain information in regard to the outcome of the report they made:Limited to the final status determination and services or supports that were provided to protect the child.By law, the mandated reporter receives limited information regarding the outcome in efforts to protect the privacy of the child.Mandated reporters are entitled to certain information in regard to the outcome of the report they made. They can obtain it by calling the county children and youth agency first, then contacting ChildLine for additional information if needed.The information that a mandated reporter can receive is limited to the final status determination and services or supports that were provided to protect the child.
52The Child Abuse Reporting Process Call report into ChildLine ( )Courtesy call can also be made to CYFWritten report (CY-47) must be submitted within 48 hoursNotify police if someone is in immediate dangerThe reporting process begins when one mandated reporter’s view is that there is reasonable cause to suspect child abuse.It is not our job to investigate, only to report based on a reasonable suspicion.
53Report of Suspected Child Abuse CY-47 The CY-47 Form:Complete within 48 hoursOnly required for mandated reportersComplete to the best of your knowledgeCan take photos/x-rays of injuries without parental permissionDo not need a waiver to release info about alleged incidentAgain, school policies and procedures may dictate who completes the CY-47, which is the written report of suspected child abuse. Please review your school policy.It must be completed within 48 hours by a mandated reporter to the best of the reporter’s knowledge. It does not have to be 100% complete in order to submit to the local county Children and Youth Services.Keep in mind that you do not need a “release of information” waiver to report information about the alleged incident.Also, no parental permission is required for photos and/or x-rays to document abuse.Reporting child abuse supersedes HIPAA regulations.
54Report of Suspected Child Abuse CY-47 Form This is what the CY-47 form looks like. It includes the following information:The names and addresses of the child and the parents or other person responsible for the care of the child if known.Where the suspected abuse occurred.The age and sex of the subjects of the report.The nature and extent of the suspected child abuse, including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or siblings of the child.The name and relationship of the person or persons responsible for causing the suspected abuse, if known, and any evidence of prior abuse by that person or persons.Family composition.The source of the report.The person making the report and where that person can be reached.The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of photographs and X-rays, removal or keeping of the child or notifying the medical examiner or coroner.Any other information which the department may require by regulation.Remember when reporting child abuse, it is important to focus on the facts and try to keep the emotion out of it.
55Some Considerations for School Procedures Who makes the call?Who completes written documents?What is the chain of command?What is the school district’s policy on photos?Who interviews the child?Who is responsible for medical examination/ ordering x-rays?You have heard some talk about School Policies and Procedures for reporting and it is imperative in this day and age that schools have something in place.Here are some factors that should be considered when schools are creating and/or updating their procedures:First, who will be the individual that make the call to ChildLine;Who will notify the local county agency?Next, who will complete the CY-47 and mail to the local county agency?Also, what is the school district policy and procedures regarding photos? This is often done with the school nurse and witness, but check your school’s recommended procedures.We mentioned that by law mandated reporters are allowed to photograph injuries, but schools may vary on this point. It is recommended that photos not be taken if it is distressing to the child or if injuries are on or near the genitals.Another important factor to identify who will interview the child. It is critical that the child not be put through multiple interviews. It can taint their testimony and may actually do more harm than good. This is why it is important to have a policy and procedures in place.Following your school procedures will help to protect you as a mandated reporter, but there are also other protections built into the law . . .
56Immediate Protective Custody Only law enforcement, physicians, and medical directors are permitted to take immediate protective custody of a childChildren and Youth workers must obtain a court order if they feel protective custody is necessary for the safety of the childKeeping a child without proper authorization is illegal.Regarding Immediate Protective Custody-Only law enforcement, physicians, and medical directors are permitted to take immediate protective custody of a child-Children and Youth workers must obtain a court order if they feel protective custody is necessary for the safety of the child-Keeping a child without proper authorization is illegal.
57Protections for Reporters Five Important Reasons to ReportThe long-term effects on children who are abusedImmunity from civil or criminal liabilitySafeguard against discharge or discrimination at workConfidentialityConsequences for failure to reportThere are five important reasons to report suspected child abuse:The long-term effects on children who are abusedImmunity from civil or criminal liabilitySafeguard against discharge or discrimination at workConfidentialityConsequences for failure to reportIt is important to cooperate with the investigation – again, you do not need a release to share pertinent knowledge of the alleged incident with investigators and testify in proceedings, if necessaryIn addition to having immunity from civil or criminal liability, the law also specifically says that any person who is required to report or cause a report of suspected child abuse to be made and who, in good faith, makes or causes the report to be made cannot be discharged from employment or discriminated against with respect to compensation, hire, tenure, terms, conditions or privileges of employment.In regard to confidentiality, mandated reporters must identify themselves when making the report. However, they should be treated as confidential informants by all law enforcement and the mandated reporters name should never be given to the family by caseworkers. The only exception to this is when a case is turned over to law enforcement. At this point, confidentiality will not be kept so that the police can question the reporter as part of conducting a proper investigation.Finally, there are serious consequences for mandated reporters who fail to report child abuse . . .
58Failure to ReportCriminal offense that prohibits you from working with childrenFirst violation: Third degree misdemeanorUp to one year in jail$2500 in finesSecond violation: Second degree misdemeanorUp to two years in jail$5000 in finesNot only is the failure to report one of the 17 criminal offenses that prohibits you from working with kids, but also it is punishable by law.A first violation is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $2500 in finesSecond or subsequent violations are punishable by up to two years in jail and/or $5000 in fines.Also, let’s not forget that failure to report continues to put a child at continued risk.
59What happens next?Within 24 hours of the report, the child must be seen and a Risk Assessment completedThe CPS caseworker typically interviews a variety of individuals, including the reporting sourceCPS may petition the court for emergency protective custody, if necessaryCPS may refer the case to law enforcement for criminal investigationIf a report gets numbered by ChildLine . . .Within 24 hours the county must see the child, complete a Risk Assessment and Safety Assessment in order to determine their course of action.They will have 30 days during which to complete the CPS Investigation, which can include interviews and other evidence collection. Under certain circumstances this investigation can be extended to 60 days.CPS workers may also petition the court for emergency protective custody at this time, if they deem it necessary.Finally, CPS can also refer the case to law enforcement for criminal investigation if there are certain circumstances, including:HomicideSexual Abuse and ExploitationSerious Physical Injury such as burns or broken bonesSerious Bodily InjuryAnd Abuse Perpetrated by a Non-Family Member
60Status Determinations FoundedIndicatedUnfoundedAfter the 30 – day investigation period, which can be extended to 60 days under certain circumstances, the status will be determined.Cases can be:Founded – a Founded status is only given to cases if the court has ruled in a civil or criminal court proceeding that the child was abused. Remains on Child Abuse Registry indefinitely.Indicated – an Indicated status is given by the county agency when they have determined that substantial evidence of abuse exists based on their investigation, medical evidence or admission of abuse by the perpetrator. Remains on Child Abuse Registry indefinitelyUnfounded – an unfounded status is given when the evidence obtained cannot support a finding of abuse according to the law’s requirements. And within 120 days after a one year report period since the initial Childine report, information is irretrievably destroyed/expunged.
61Check your understanding Please answer the following true-false statements:A mandated reporter needs to hear directly from the student that abuse has occurred before calling ChildLine.-- True or False?You need a release of information waiver signed by parents to share knowledge about alleged abuse with the county.Answers:False
62Check your understanding You are not allowed to detain a child at school beyond dismissal time even if you are concerned for the child’s safety.-- True or False?The majority of reported cases are determined unfounded.There will be no repercussions the first time that you fail to report suspected abuse.Answers:3. True4. True5. False
64Scenario 1Laura is an 11 year old girl disclosing to you that her 14 year old brother was babysitting her and when her younger sister went to bed, he forced Laura to have sex with him.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions will you take?In the following scenarios, please read each situation and determine if there is reasonable cause to suspect Child Abuse, if yes, why? And if no, why not? What actions would you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
65Scenario 1 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?Yes (sexual abuse/exploitation)What actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuse.Answer:Yes. This situation would be a case of Sexual Abuse/Exploitation. He resides in the home, is over 14 years of age, was in a caretaker role and even if he wasn’t 14 he would still be considered a Perpetrator under the definition of the CPSL.Action:Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse.It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services.Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.
66Scenario 2Tommy is in your program and you notice he hasn’t been eating lunch. He discloses that his tooth hurts. You contact the mother. Mother agrees to take Tommy to the dentist. A couple of weeks pass and Tommy continues to complain about his tooth and becomes tearful at lunch. You notice that the tooth and gum appear to be infected and again call the mother. Mother reports she can’t get a dentist appointment. You make the appointment the next day with a dentist associated with your program and let the mom know that she can take Tommy for free the next day. Several days later, Tommy is experiencing more severe pain, presents with a fever, swelling and has not received treatment.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions will you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
67Scenario 2 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?Yes (serious physical neglect)What actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuse.Answer:Yes. There are indicators of Serious Physical Neglect because the condition of his toothache was allowed to become worse and now there is a serious physical condition causing the child severe physical pain. There is enough to have reasonable cause to suspect Serious Physical Neglect/Child Abuse.Action:Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse.It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services.Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.
68Scenario 3A woman from the neighborhood shows up at your house and tells you that she is worried about the family that just moved in behind her house. She said the father is very rude and intimidating. There is a young girl, age 7, and her siblings live with mom and dad. She reports that for weeks she has witnessed and heard the parents arguing and cursing at all hours. The girl seems very unhappy, doesn’t play much with the other children, and is seen home on some school days. The woman also reports that her brother used to live near this family when the girl was 4 years old and witnessed the dad, in an angry rage, throw a shovel at the girl, nearly hitting her and then chased the girl into the street. He said the mother intervened and brought the young girl safely into the house.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions will you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
69Scenario 3 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?NoWhat actions will you take?Call ChildLineAnswer:No. It is not reportable as Child Abuse because the incident the neighbor’s brother witnessed is not recent. It is more than 2 years ago, the girl is now 7 years old and this occurred when she was age 4.Action: Although it is not reportable as child abuse, a child abuse referral is warranted and may help with supports and services to improve the situation for this child and her family. It should also be suggested to the neighbor to make a referral as she witnessed the incidents first hand. Document your referral and county Children and Youth staff response and their contact information.
70Scenario 4You notice one of your middle school student-athletes is having difficulty walking and participating in contact drills.He explains that his back is sore, but you notice some blood seeping through his jersey. He refuses to let you look at it and pulls away. Concerned about a back injury, you insist and as you lift his jersey, with closer inspection you notice four distinct circular burns on his lower back that are infected and several similar scars. He explains when he is ‘bad’, this is how his parents punish him. He begs you not to tell his parents.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions will you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
71Scenario 4 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?Yes (serious physical injury/child abuse)What actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuse.Answer:Yes. This situation would be a case of Serious Physical Injury/Child Abuse. The injuries are suggestive of cigarette burns. Severe pain and temporary impairment is indicated by his difficulty with participating in contact drills, complaints of a sore back, and infection. The location of the burns indicate that is unlikely that a child could have inflicted them on himself or that they were of an accidental nature. In addition, there were similar scars indicating there may also have been recent abuse.Note: It is important to be aware of other indicators and warning signs of abuse as there may not always be physical indicators present at the time of the reporter’s suspicions. Often children who are being abused display characteristic behaviors like the warning signs that we reviewed.Action:Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse.It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services.Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.
72Scenario 5Desiree is a 12 year old girl living with her mother and 16 year old sister, Haley. Mother and Desiree have a conflicting relationship as Desiree insists on having the same freedoms and privileges as her older sister. She has stayed out past curfew, been caught cutting school and is escalating in her challenging behaviors. Last night, mother caught Desiree with a boy in her bedroom. After a period of arguing and destroying some bedroom items, the mother threw an iron at the daughter’s head and, if not for ducking behind the furniture, it would have hit her. Instead, the iron broke the window and landed in the front yard.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions would you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
73Scenario 5 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?Yes (imminent risk)What actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuse.Answer:Yes. There are indicators of Imminent Risk, because the girl would have been injured by the iron, if not for ducking behind the furniture. There is enough to have reasonable cause to suspect Imminent Risk/Child Abuse.Action:Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse.It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services.Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.
74Scenario 6Some girls in your PE class approach you because they are worried about Amy, their friend and fellow classmate. The friends report that she doesn’t want to spend time with them and has withdrawn from them. They state she appears sad and they saw her alone crying today. They also think she is embarrassed by her dad. They tell you that Amy’s father is really “hard on her,” and when they have visited the home on several occasions, they witnessed him calling her names, telling her she is a whore, cursing at her and telling her he regrets the day she was born. When Amy comes in next period, you notice she is wearing a long sleeve shirt. As she jumps for the ball, you notice numerous cutting marks on her wrists. When you share your concerns with her, she replies, “Maybe he’s right. Maybe we would both be better off if I was never born.”Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions would you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
75Scenario 6 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?Yes (serious mental injury/child abuse)What actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuseAnswer:Yes. There is reasonable cause to suspect that there are indicators of Serious Mental Injury/Child Abuse, because the girl’s self-injury, cutting behavior and depressive symptoms may be connected to the actions of her father.Action:Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected Child Abuse.It is recommended that after calling ChildLine, follow up with a courtesy call to county Children and Youth Services.Within 48 hours of calling ChildLine, complete the CY-47 report form and submit it to county Children and Youth Services.
76Scenario 7The kicker for your football team is a 14 year old boy. He comes into your office upset and tearful because his missed kick cost the team the game last night. He reports that he has a headache and his arm is sore. You detect there are bruises and scrapes on his upper arm, and a bump on the back of his head. He breaks down and tells you that a father of one of his teammates was so mad at him for losing the game that the father grabbed his arm, shook him, and then shoved him backward into the bleachers, cursing at him that it was his fault.Is this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?What actions will you take?<Read slide> <Pause>
77Scenario 7 - ResponseIs this suspected child abuse? If yes, why? If no, why not?NoWhat actions will you take?Call ChildLine immediately to make a report of suspected child abuseAnswer:No. The suspected Perpetrator does not fit into the four categories of a Perpetrator as defined by CPSL. Note: If this were a school employee, such as a coach or assistant coach, they would also not fit into the four CPSL descriptions of Perpetrator, but would fall under a separate category called Student Abuse, which will be described in another section of this training.Action:Although the individual does not fit into one of the four Perpetrator categories, or Student Abuse, the reporter must still call ChildLine. When the investigation begins, the county Children and Youth agency will determine the course of action and involve the proper authorities, including law enforcement.Note: It is important to note that even though an incident does not fit into the CPSL definition of Child Abuse, other reports can be made to the proper authorities which may include civil and criminal actions against suspected individuals. ChildLine can help determine the course of action.
78ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntroMODULE 4
80Student Abuse Legislation: History Act 151 of 1994 (effective 7/1/95)Amended the Department of Public Welfare's Child Protective Services Law (CPSL)Outlines changes which affect a school's policies and procedures regarding the reporting of suspected abuse of students by school employees and background checks for employmentAct 151 of 1994, signed into law on December 16, 1994, amended the Department of Public Welfare's Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). The purpose of this notice to the schools is to outline those changes which affect a school's policies and procedures regarding the reporting of suspected abuse of students by school employees and background checks for employment.It is important for school administrators to be aware of the following summary points regarding Act 151's amendments of the Child Protective Services Law: The amendments establish a separate category of abuse called ‘abuse of a student by a school employee’ which involves either serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. Effective July 1, 1995, school administrators must report suspected abuse of students by school employees to the district attorney and the local police.We will review this further in Student Abuse reporting process.
813 Components of Student Abuse must be under the age of 18enrolled in a public or private school, Intermediate Unit, or Vo-Tech School2. School Employee:Any person employed by a public or private school, Intermediate Unit, or Vo-Tech School that has the possibility of coming into contact with children<Read Slide>School Employee includes subcontractors, for example, non-instructional staff, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, after school and extra curricular activities being provided by a paid/contracted person and so on. It only excludes individuals who have no possibility of having contact with children. This also excludes volunteers as they are not being paid or contracted by the district.Anyone the school district pays is considered a School Employee by definition of the CPSL. For example, a teacher that is providing instruction to a child outside of school, perhaps in the child’s home, (Homebound Instruction, Instruction Conducted in the Home) and is being paid by the school is a school employee and if they were accused of abusing the child, this would fall under Student Abuse. However, if the parent hires a teacher to privately tutor their child and the parents pay for it, the parent then is placing the teacher as a ‘person responsible for the child’s welfare’ under the Perpetrator category which if they were accused of abusing the child it would fall under the category of Child Abuse. To make it easier to remember, ‘follow the money’ whoever pays in this example, will determine the category of Child Abuse as a perpetrator or Student Abuse as a school employee responsible for abusing a child.
823 Components of Student Abuse 3. Two types of Student Abuse – abuse of a student by a school employee that causes:Serious Bodily Injury -That creates substantial risk of death or which causes serious or permanent disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of an organ or other body partSexual Abuse or ExploitationAs defined earlier<Read slide can clarify Sexual Abuse or Exploitation definition again if needed>Reminder- Sexual abuse or exploitation involves the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of any child to engage inor assist any other person to engage in any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose ofproducing any visual depiction of any sexually explicit conduct, or the rape, molestation, incest, prostitution, statutory sexual assault, orother form of sexual exploitation of children.
83Additional Definitions AdministratorCounty AgencyPublic or private schoolSubject of a reportUnfounded reportIndicated reportFounded ReportNow let’s look at some additional definitions found in the Child Protective Services Law:Administrator - The person responsible for the administration of a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school. The term includes an independent contractor.County Agency - County Children and Youth social service agency.Public or private school - This refers to ALL schools in the Commonwealth including public and nonpublic schools as defined in the School Code and private academic schools as defined in the Regulations of the State Board of Private Academic Schools. Private Rehabilitative Residential Institutions and other day treatment programs, which may not fall within the definition of the term school, are still subject to the child abuse provisions of the Child Protective Services Law.Subject of a report - The child, parent, guardian or other person responsible for the welfare of the child or the school employee named in a report of suspected student abuse made to the Department of Public Welfare or a county agency under the Child Protective Services law.Unfounded report for school employee - Any report of student abuse unless the report is a founded report for a school employee or an indicated report for a school employee.Indicated report for a school employee - A report where an investigation by the county agency determines that substantial evidence of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation exists based on any of the following: 1. available medical evidence; 2. the county agency's investigation; 3. an admission of the act(s) of abuse or injury by the school employee.Founded report for a school employee - A report where there has been any judicial adjudication based on a finding that the victim has suffered serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation, including entry of a plea of guilty or no contest or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving the same factual circumstance involved in the allegations of the report.
84Reporting Process for Student Abuse – School Employee Has reasonable cause to suspect that the student is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation by a school employeeImmediately inform the School Administrator(which fulfills your reporting mandate)The reporting school employee may not reveal the existence or content of the report to another personNote: If the accused abuser of a student is the Administratorthe reporting School Employee shall immediately report to Law Enforcement officials and the District AttorneyA school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student coming before him or her, in the employee's professional or official capacity, is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation by another school employee, shall immediately notify the administrator. This reporting requirement applies whenever a school employee is (1) suspected of abusing a student and (2) is functioning in his or her role as a school employee regardless of when or where the abuse or injury occurred.<Read NOTE on slide>
85Reporting Process for Student Abuse – School Employee The student must be physically seen by the employee before the school employee is mandated to report the suspected abuse or injuryA school employee who refers a report in good faith of suspected abuse of a student by another school employee is immune from civil and criminal liability arising out of the report.A School Employee’s willful failure to follow reporting requirements is a summary offense for the first violation and any subsequent violation of required reporting is then guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.The student must be physically seen by the employee before the school employee is mandated to report the suspected abuse or injury. When a school employee learns of suspected student abuse from another person, the school employee shall see the student and make a report of suspected student abuse if the reporting school employee has reasonable cause to suspect that the student was a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or exploitation by a school employee. The reporting school employee may not reveal the existence or content of the report to another person. A school employee who makes a report in good faith of suspected abuse of a student by another school employee, or of child abuse, is immune from civil and criminal liability arising out of the report. Any school employee who willfully violates the reporting requirement commits a summary offense for the first violation. Any employee who commits a subsequent violation is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
86Reporting Process for Student Abuse -Administrators School AdministratorA school administrator immediately reports to Law Enforcement officials and the District Attorney any report of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation alleged to have been committed by a school employee against a student.Reporting Suspected Student Abuse by Employees to the District Attorney and the Local PoliceAn administrator, upon being notified of suspected abuse, shall report immediately to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney the suspected abuse or injury alleged to have been committed by a school employee against a student. The same reporting is required if the administrator suspects the injury or abuse.When a school employee notifies an administrator that he or she suspects that a student is the victim of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, the administrator may not make an independent evaluation or investigation to decide whether or not to make a report to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney.
87Reporting Process for Student Abuse -Administrators The Department of Public Welfare's “Report of Suspected Student Abuse” CY 47-D form is completed by the AdministratorAfter the CY 47-D form is submitted, law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney will investigate and make decisionsThe Department of Public Welfare's “REPORT OF SUSPECTED STUDENT ABUSE CY 47-D form” is completed by the Administrator. The report is different from the Report of Suspected Child Abuse CY-47 form. The CY 47-D form for student abuse includes the student's name, age, address and school, and the name and address of the student's parent or guardian, the school administrator and the school employee suspected of the abuse. The nature of the offense and any comments or observations relevant to the incident must also be included.
88Reporting Process for Student Abuse –Law Enforcement & District Attorney Law Enforcement and District AttorneyCoordinate an investigation of the report and determine what, if any, criminal charges will be filed against the School EmployeeWith reasonable cause to suspect abuse of a child by a School Employee they immediately contact the county Children and Youth Agency<Read Slide>
89Notifications by the County Agency County Children and Youth agencyImmediately notifies ChildLine and begins an investigation.Every attempt is made to coordinate their investigation with Law Enforcement:County agency shall verbally notify the subjectWritten notice shall be provided within 72 hours of the oral notificationNotification may be reasonable delayed if the safety of the student could be threatenedThe county agency shall notify:The school administrator or employee who made the report of the final status of the report, i.e., founded, indicated or unfounded when the investigation is completeThe county Children and Youth agency immediately notifies ChildLine and begins an investigation. Prior to the initial interview with an employee suspected of abusing a student, the county agency must orally notify the subject of the report about the existence of the report, the allegations of abuse and his or her rights regarding amendment or expunction. Written notice shall be provided to the subject of the report within 72 hours of the oral notification. Notice may be reasonably delayed if notification is likely to threaten the safety of the student or the county agency worker, to cause the school employee to abscond or to significantly interfere with the conduct of a criminal investigation. The county agency shall notify, in writing, the school administrator or employee who made the report to the district attorney and law enforcement officials of the final status of the report, i.e., founded, indicated or unfounded when the investigation is complete.
90Failure to Report School Employees Administrators A school employee who willfully violates the mandated reporting law commits a summary offense.A school employee who, after the first offense, willfully violates the mandated reporting law commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.AdministratorsAn administrator who willfully violates the mandated reporting law commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.Willful Failure to Report and CooperateSchool Employees: A school district, facility, or any person acting on behalf of a school district or facility, that willfully fails to cooperate with the Department of Public Welfare or county agency when investigating a report of child abuse or suspected abuse of a student by a school employee, or when assessing risk to the child, commits a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for subsequent violations.Administrators: An administrator who reports suspected abuse is immune from civil or criminal liability arising out of the report. In cases where the administrator is the employee suspected of abusing the student, the school employee who suspects the abuse shall immediately report that information to law enforcement officials and the appropriate district attorney.The law requires the administrator to report the suspected abuse immediately. An administrator who willfully violates the reporting requirement commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.Note: Nothing prevents the school from conducting its own investigation after making the report to law enforcement and the district attorney. However, the school district is urged to coordinate its investigation with local law enforcement and Child Protective Services so as not to jeopardize any criminal investigation or prosecution. The school may take any action that the school district deems appropriate in accordance with provisions of the School Code and district policies and procedures.
91Required Reporting to PDE When to report to PDE?Employee is formally chargedEmployee is convicted of a crime of moral turpitudeThe school code requires school officials to report to the Department of Education when an employee is dismissed for cause. Therefore, if an employee is dismissed because of abuse of students, the school officials must report the dismissal to PDE. School officials must also report when an employee is formally charged with or convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Because child abuse and abuse of students are crimes that involve moral turpitude, school officials must report to PDE if an employee is charged with or convicted of one of these crimes. The School's Mandatory Report Form is located on the PDE website and procedures are in Basic Education Circular Section.
93Check Your Understanding All schools are included in Student Abuse including public and private schools defined by the Public School Code and private academic schools.-- True or False?<Read Slide>Answer: True
94Check Your Understanding Student Abuse is comprised of three components: a Student, a School Employee and a type of abuse.-- True or False?<Read Slide>Answer: True
95Check Your Understanding An administrator shall report immediately to Law Enforcement officials and the District Attorney any report of serious bodily injury, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation alleged to have been committed by a school employee against a student.-- True or False?<Read Slide>Answer: True
96Check Your Understanding What is the correct sequence of the Student Abuse Reporting Process?School Employee to ChildLine to Administrator to Law Enforcement & District Attorney to Children & Youth AgencySchool Employee to Administrator to Law Enforcement & District Attorney to Children &Youth Service Agency to ChildLine<Read Slide>Answer: B is correct
97Check Your Understanding An administrator who willfully violates the law regarding the reporting of student abuse commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.-- True or False?<Read Slide>Answer: True
98School District Policies and Procedures School districts encouraged to adopt policies and proceduresMeet obligations under the amended Child Protective Services LawRelated to child abuseRelated to comprehensive violence prevention programsSchool districts are encouraged to take prompt action adopting policies and procedures which will meet their new obligations under the amended Act 126 Child Protective Services Law.At a minimum, schools should (1) inform employees and contractors who provide services to the school of the major provisions of the law and of their responsibilities for reporting suspected abuse; (2) establish reporting procedures with local police and the district attorney; (3) inform parents and students of the law and of the appropriate procedures for informing school staff of situations which fall under the scope of the law; and (4) contact the local County Children and Youth Service Agency regarding its procedures relative to the amended Child Protective Services Law.Issues related to abuse of students, as well as child abuse, should be part of the school district's comprehensive violence prevention program. Planned training programs should be used to inform school employees of their responsibilities under the law and the steps to take to prevent the occurrence of abuse of students. A comprehensive violence prevention program is the primary starting point for dealing with any form of abuse.
99Child Abuse Clearances Any organization that works with children is required by law to obtain for their prospective employees both a criminal background check and Child Abuse Clearances, which are obtained from ChildLine’s child abuse registryChild Abuse Clearances:An administrator will require each applicant to submit an official clearance statement obtained from the Department of Public Welfare as well as a state police clearance.This process is completed to determine whether the applicant is named as the perpetrator of an indicated or a founded report.An administrator shall not hire an applicant if the Department of Public Welfare verifies that the applicant is named as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse or is named as the individual responsible for injury or abuse in a founded report for a school employee.An administrator who willfully violates the official clearance requirement shall be subject to an administrative penalty of $2,500.The law does not address the continued employment of a school employee who is the subject of a founded report. However, Section 527 of the Pa. School Code does require immediate termination of employment of a person convicted of any of the offenses listed in Section 111 of the School Code which includes such offenses as kidnapping, unlawful restraint, rape, statutory rape, indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and others.
100Child Protective Services System Response ChildLine available 24/7 to receive reportsInvestigation begins and includes Risk and Safety AssessmentsInterviews of the child, the perpetrator, and others involvedVisit to the child’s homeChild Protective Services System Response:ChildLine is available 24/7 to receive reportsInvestigation begins and includes Risk and Safety AssessmentsThe investigation may include interviews of the child, the perpetrator, and others involvedVisit to the child’s home
101Child Protective Services System Response Emergency Protective CustodyOnly permitted by a physician, a medical director or law enforcementChildren and Youth must obtain a court orderCollect EvidenceAfter the investigation is complete, mandated reporters are entitled to limited informationChild Protective Services System Response:Emergency Protective Custody is:Only permitted by a physician, a medical director or law enforcementChildren and Youth must obtain a court orderCollect EvidenceAfter the investigation is complete, mandated reporters are entitled to limited information
102Agency Referrals to Law Enforcement Children and Youth Agencies are required to automatically refer a case to law enforcement for criminal investigation in these circumstances:HomicideSexual Abuse and ExploitationSerious Physical Injury--Burns, broken bones, shaken baby syndromeSerious Bodily InjuryAbuse perpetrated by a non-family memberChildren and Youth Agencies are required to automatically refer a case to law enforcement for criminal investigation in these circumstances:HomicideSexual Abuse and ExploitationSerious Physical Injury--Burns, broken bones, shaken baby syndromeSerious Bodily InjuryAbuse perpetrated by a non-family member
103Protecting the Abused Child Be proactive and understand that as a mandated reporter when you have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse it is your legal obligation to report itCooperate with investigations and focus on building positive relationships with colleagues, administrators, local law enforcement, county Children and Youth agencies, and the appropriate district attorneyProtecting the abused child:Be proactive and understand that as a mandated reporter when you have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse it is your legal obligation to report itCooperate with investigations and focus on building positive relationships with colleagues, administrators, local law enforcement, county Children and Youth agencies, and the appropriate district attorney
104ACT 126 The PA Child Protective Services Law Mandated Reporting for School EmployeesIntroMODULE 5
106Professional Standards & Practices Commission (PSPC) – Primary Roles Advisory – to the State Board and the Department of EducationAdjudicatory – administration of the professional educator discipline systemCaretaker of Code of ConductThe Professional Educator Discipline Act created the Professional Standards and Practices Commission. The role of the Commission is threefold:- first, it is an advisory body to the state Board of Education and the Department of Education and recommends rules and regulations for teacher certification and the standards for college and university teaching degree programs- second, it is assigned within the adjudication role, as it administers the professional educator discipline system which it oversees;- third, the Commission is charged with creating and updating the Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
107PSPC Mission and Composition The PSPC is committed to providing leadership for improving the quality of education in this Commonwealth by establishing high standards for preparation, certification, practice and ethical conduct in the teaching profession.Composition7 classroom teachers, including one educational specialist3 public school administrators; one a principal and one a Commissioned officer1 administrator from a higher education program2 members of the general public; one a school board memberThe mission of the PSPC is to provide leadership for improving the quality of education in the Commonwealth by establishing high standards for preparation, certification, practice and ethical conduct in the teaching profession. The Commission consists of classroom teachers, public school administrators including a Commissioned officer, someone from higher education, and two members from the general public, one of whom is on a school board.
108Statutory Authority/Jurisdiction Professional Educator Discipline Act24 P.S. section et seq.All certified professionalsCharter school staff membersPrivate academic schools/Independent ContractorsThe statutory authority of the Commission extends to all certified professionals, charter school staff members, and it is proposed that private academic school professionals and independent contractors who work within school settings also be brought into the Commission’s jurisdictionC. Angelo, 4/3/2013
109Code of Conduct: Guiding Principles Commitment to:excellencevalue and dignity of each individualact in a fiduciary capacity and to protect studentsmodeling societal responsibilitiesOne of the roles of the Professional Standards and Practices Commission is to generate a code of conduct. The guiding principles revolve around a commitment to excellence; a commitment to the value and dignity of each individual; a commitment to act in a fiduciary capacity and to protect students; and lastly, a commitment to modeling societal responsibilities.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
110Code’s ProhibitionsAccepting employment or encouraging employment in an area when not properly certifiedDiscriminatingInterfering with a student’s or colleague’s exercise of political/civil rights or responsibilitiesAccepting gratuities, gifts or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgmentThe code specifically prohibits a variety of activities. Some of those include accepting employment in an area when not properly certified, discriminating against individuals, interfering with a student or colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights, and accepting gratuities, gifts or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgment.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
111Code’s Prohibitions Exploiting a professional relationship Misrepresenting student or colleague evaluationsMisrepresenting subject matter or curriculumSexually harassing students or colleaguesEngaging in relationships of a sexual nature with studentsAlso included in the code prohibition are exploiting professional relationships, misrepresenting evaluations and/or misrepresenting subject matter or curriculum, sexually harassing students or colleagues, or engaging in relationships of a sexual nature with students.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
112Code’s ProhibitionsWithholding evidence from authorities concerning violations of the CodeUsing coercive means to influence professional decisions of colleaguesThreatening, coercing or discriminating against a colleague who in good faith reports or discloses actual or suspected violations of laws, regulations, or standardsAnd finally, withholding evidence from authorities concerning violations of the code, using coercion to influence professional decisions of colleagues and threatening, coercing or discriminating against a colleague who in good faith reports actual or suspected violations of law, regulations or standards.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
113Grounds for Discipline Non-CriminalCriminalThere are times when an educator’s misconduct rises to the level that requires statewide discipline. Activities that are both criminal and noncriminal can result in disciplinary actions.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
114Non-Criminal Misconduct IncompetencyIntemperanceNegligenceCrueltyImmoralityViolation of Act of May 29, 1931Violation of the Code of ConductNon-CriminalThe areas of noncriminal misconduct that rise to the level of discipline include incompetency, intemperance, negligence, cruelty, immorality, violations of the Act of May 29, 1931, and violations of the code of conduct. These are often referred to as the “seven deadly sins” in education. We will review each one individually.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
115DefinitionsIncompetency: continuing or persistent mental or intellectual inability or incapacity to performIntemperance: loss of self-control or self-restraint, which may result from excessive conductNegligence: continuing or persistent action or omission in violation of a duty (est. by law, rules, policies, directives)Incompetency is the continuing or persistent mental or intellectual inability or incapacity to perform one’s job. Intemperance is a loss of self-control or self-restraint which may result from excessive conduct. Negligence is the continuing or persistent action or omission in violation of a duty which was established by laws, rules, policies and directives.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
116DefinitionsCruelty: intentional, malicious and unnecessary infliction of physical or psychological pain upon living creatures, particularly human beingsImmorality: conduct which offends the morals of the Commonwealth and is a bad example to the youth whose ideals an educator has a duty to foster and elevateCruelty is the intentional, malicious and unnecessary infliction of physical or psychological pain upon living creatures, particularly human beings. Immorality is conduct which offends the morals of the Commonwealth and is a bad example for the youth whose ideals and educator has a duty to foster and elevate.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
117Criminal Criminal Conduct Conviction/indictment of a crime involving moral turpitudeConviction/indictment of a crime listed in section 111(e)CriminalThose criminal activities which could result in educator discipline fall under two categories: (1) a conviction or indictment of a crime involving moral turpitude or (2) a conviction or indictment of a crime listed in section 111 (e).C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
118Definition of Moral Turpitude That element and personal misconduct in the private and social duties which a person owes to his fellow human beings or to society in general, which characterizes the act done as an act of baseness, vileness or depravity, and contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between two human beings;Conduct done knowingly contrary to justice, honesty or good morals;Intentional, knowing or reckless conduct causing bodily injury to another or intentional, knowing or reckless conduct which, by physical menace, puts another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Moral turpitude is defined as that element and personal misconduct in the private and social duties in which a person owes to fellow human beings or to society in general which characterizes the act done as an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity, and contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between two human beings. It also includes conduct unknowingly contrary to justice, honesty or good morals, as well as intentional, knowing or reckless conduct causing bodily injury to another or intentional knowing or reckless conduct by which physical menace puts another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.It is important to note in this definition that the misconduct may occur in private and/or social duties outside of school and is also done knowingly and intentionally.
119Crimes Determined to Involve Moral Turpitude by the Commission Bank RobberyBurglaryDefrauding Public WelfareFalsely Altering Military RecordsFalsifying Business RecordsForgeryFraudulent Use of Credit CardsGrand LarcenyHomicide by VehicleInsurance FraudMail FraudWire FraudMaking False Statements to Federal AgencyMoney Laundering of Drug Trafficking ProceedsObstruction of JusticePharmacy Act, Violation ofReceiving Stolen PropertyTheft by DeceptionTheft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of FundsTheft By Unlawful TakingTrafficking in Counterfeit GoodsUnlawful RestraintHere is a list of some of those crimes which fall under the definition of moral turpitude, as determined by the Commission.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
120Section 111(e) Crimes Criminal homicide Rape Unlawful restraint Aggravated assaultKidnappingUnlawful restraintSexual assaultStatutory sexual assaultIndecent assaultIncestIndecent exposureInvoluntary deviate sexual intercourseObscene/sexual materials or performancesSexual abuse of childrenProstitution (felony)Felonies under Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic ActCorruption of minorsStalkingAggravated indecent assaultConcealing death of childEndangering welfare of childrenDealing in infant childrenInstitutional sexual assault*Luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure*Sexual intercourse with an animal*Unlawful contact with a minor*Solicitation of minors to traffic drugs*Sexual exploitation of children*OUT OF STATE/ FEDERAL CRIMESHere is a list of crimes listed under Section 111 (e) that would result in revocation of an educator’s certificate or eligibility to work in a charter school.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
121INITIATION OF COMPLAINT Discipline ProcessINITIATION OF COMPLAINTLEGAL SUFFICIENCYPROBABLE CAUSENOTICE OF CHARGESHEARINGADJUDICATIONThis slide represents the disciplinary process which reflects that both PDE and the Commission have a role in the process. It starts with the initiation of a complaint, which then is evaluated to determine its legal sufficiency which involves a level of probable cause. If it is determined that a notice of charges is provided to the educator, he or she is offered an opportunity for a hearing which may result in some type of adjudication.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
122Types of Professional Discipline Private reprimandPublic reprimandSuspensionRevocationSurrender in lieu of disciplineThe types of discipline that are available to the Commission includes private reprimands, public reprimands, suspensions, revocation, and surrender of one’s certificate in lieu of discipline.
123Filing a ComplaintIn completing the Educator Misconduct Complaint, it is very important to be specific and to include the following information when describing the professional misconduct:What happened?Who was involved?When did the conduct occur?Where did the conduct occur?The Educator Misconduct Complaint must be signed in the presence of a notary and the notary's original stamp and signature must be affixed. The completed complaint form and related materials must be sent to the address found on the Educator Misconduct Complaint.As stated earlier, the process begins with the filing of a complaint.When filing a complaint, it is very important to be specific when describing the conduct and to include information about what happened, who was involved, when it occurred and where it occurred. The complaint must be signed in the presence of a notary and their stamp and signature must be affixed to the complaint document. It is then sent to PDE.
124Filing a ComplaintThe following information must be included in every Educator Misconduct Complaint:The complainant’s name and contact information, including current mailing address and daytime telephone number;Information to identify the educator, including the educator’s full name, available contact information, employing school district or charter school, and position in the school district or charter school;Detailed description of educator’s professional misconduct, including the date or dates on which the conduct occurred;Copies of documents that support the complaint (e.g., police reports, court records, medical bills, s, text messages, correspondence); andInformation related to complaints filed with other agencies (e.g., school district or charter school, police, children and youth services).This slide provides more specific information about the types of information required when filing a complaint. It is interesting to note that, in addition to a detailed description of the educator’s professional misconduct (including the date or dates on which the conduct occurred), copies of documents that support the complaints (including police reports, court records, medical bills, s, text messages and correspondences) are to be included with the complaint. Additionally, any information filed with other agencies such as a school district or charter school, the police, Children & Youth Services, etc. are also to be provided.
125Educator Misconduct Complaint Form (PDE-348) As previously stated, there is a complaint form which can be found on the PDE website. Just type “educator misconduct complaint form” into the search box and this is the form that you will access.
126When a Complaint is Received PDE reviews the complaint and all pertinent information.If there are not enough facts to warrant discipline, the complaint is dismissed.If there are enough facts to warrant discipline, PDE investigates to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that grounds for discipline exist.If probable cause is found, PDE may conduct a full investigation or transmit its preliminary findings to the local school governing board to allow them to investigate.If probable cause is not found, a written notice is issued to the affected professional educator, the complaining party and the employer and the complaint is dismissed.Here’s a flowchart indicating the process that is followed when a complaint is received by PDE. The complaint and provided information is reviewed by PDE and a decision is made as to whether there is enough fact to warrant discipline or not.If not, the complaint is dismissed.If there are enough facts to warrant discipline, PDE will investigate further to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that there are grounds for discipline. If probable cause is found, PDE may conduct a full investigation or transmit its’ findings to the local school board to allow them to investigate. If probable cause is not found, written notices are issued to the professional educator, the complaining party and the employer, and the complaint is dismissed.
127Complaints Against Educators Disciplinary proceedings are initiated by the filing of a complaint with the PDE within 1 year from the date of the occurrence of any alleged action (or the date of its discovery).Complaints involving sexual abuse or exploitation of a child or a student may be filed beyond the date of the alleged occurrence, up until 5 years after the child or student reaches 18 years of age.If the alleged action is of a continuing nature, the date of its occurrence is considered the last date on which the conduct occurred for purposes of the complaint.PDE will accept a complaint filed within one year of the occurrence of the alleged action. However, complaints involving sexual abuse or the exploitation of a child may be filed beyond the date of the occurrence, up to five years after the child or student reaches 18 years old. If the alleged action is of a continuing nature, the date of the occurrence is considered the last date on which the conduct occurred.
128Adjudication from an Out-of-State Licensing Authority Adjudication by an appropriate licensing authority of another state, territory or nation is considered conclusive evidence of misconduct.After receiving notice of an adjudication from the licensing authority in another jurisdiction, the professional educator must demonstrate for the Commission that imposition of identical or comparable discipline in PA would be unwarranted.The professional educator has 30 days to demonstrate that:the discipline would result in a grave injusticethe discipline is substantially different from what would have been imposed for similar conductthe procedure used in the other jurisdiction did not provide due processWithin 30 days after the professional educator’s response window, the Commission will decide whether to impose the identical or comparable discipline.If an educator has been disciplined by an out-of-state licensing authority, it is considered conclusive evidence of misconduct in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The professional educator has 30 days to demonstrate that this discipline would result in a grave injustice; the discipline is substantially different from what would have been imposed for similar conduct in Pennsylvania; or the procedure used in that other state did not provide due process. Within 30 days after the educator’s response window, the Commission will decide whether or not to impose the identical or comparable discipline.
129Imposition of Discipline Revocation of certificate required for:Crime under 111(e) of the Public School CodeCrime involving moral turpitudeSimilar crime in federal or state courtNote: For purposes of this subsection, the term “conviction” includes a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.If the educator is indicted of a crime listed in 111(e) of the Public School Code, or a crime involving moral turpitude, or a similar crime in federal courts or the court of another state, territory or nation, the Commission must revoke the professional educator’s certificate. The Commission can reinstate a certificate upon receipt of a certified court documents establishing that conviction was reversed on appeal.
130Imposition of Discipline If a professional educator is indicted of a crime under 111(e) of the Public School Code, or a crime involving moral turpitude and if the Commission determines that the professional educator poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a student or other individual in a school, the Commission may suspend the professional educator’s certificate.Suspension or revocation of certificate recommended for:Indictment of crime under Public School CodeEducator determined to be threat to health, safety, welfare of student or faculty/staff memberIf an educator is indicted of a crime under Section 111(e) of the Public School Code, or a crime involving moral turpitude, and if the Commission determines that the educator poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a student or other individual in the school, the Commission may suspend the professional educator’s certificate. This suspension shall be lifted if the Commission receives notification that the charges have been withdrawn or overturned. On occasion, the Commission has accepted an affidavit that the educator will not be employed in a position related to educating or working with children, in lieu of suspension.
131Confidentiality, Release of Information & Immunity Immunity from LiabilityAll information related to any complaints or proceedings shall remain confidential until discipline other than a private reprimand is ordered. Anyone who releases information received in a meeting or hearing or through any disciplinary proceedings without authorization of the committee is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. With regard to immunity from liability, no person shall be subject to civil liability for filing a complaint or providing information to/cooperating with PDE or the Commission in the course of an investigation. If a person provides false information, that person is not protected from civil liability.
132Role of the School Board PDE shares preliminary findingsSchool board investigates and decides whether to pursuedisciplinary actionWithin 90 days, school board tells PDE if it has decidedto pursue discipline and if action by the Commission isnecessarySchool board notifies the affected educator of anyrecommendationSchool board provides to PDE:- Findings & summary of evidence- Any other relevant information requestedAfter the complaint has been filed with PDE, preliminary findings are reported to the school board that employees that professional educator. Then, the school board will investigate and decide whether to pursue disciplinary action (in addition to whatever sanctions PDE/the Commission have deemed appropriate). Within 90 days, the school board reports to PDE if it has pursued disciplinary action and if additional action by the Commission is necessary. The school board notifies the professional educator of any recommendations, and finally reports to PDE any findings and summary of evidence or any other relevant information.
133Role of PDE After Investigation After completion of an investigation, PDE may:dismiss the chargesdetermine that the school board has imposed appropriate disciplineinitiate hearing proceduressettle the caseAfter PDE completes its investigation, it has a few options. The first is a dismissal of the charges. The second is a determination that the school board has imposed an appropriate discipline. The third option is that PDE may initiate a hearing. If this last option is chosen, PDE has 30 days to send written notice to the professional educator advising him or her of the charges and the right to request a hearing within 30 days.
134Reporting to the PDEAdministrators (such as the superintendent, assistant superintendent, executive director of an intermediate unit, chief administrator of an area vocational- technical school, administrator of a charter school or their designees) must report :The dismissal of a certificated employee for cause.A criminal indictment or conviction for a crime listed in 111(e) of the Public School Code or involving moral turpitudeInformation regarding physical injury to a student or child as a result of negligence or malice, or sexual abuse/exploitation of a student or child by a professional educator.Failure to report may result in disciplinary action against the administrator.Currently, administrators of school districts are required to report the following information to PDE: the dismissal of a certified employee for cause; a criminal indictment or conviction for a crime; or information regarding physical injury to a student or child as a result of negligence or malice, or sexual abuse/exploitation of the student or child by a professional educator. Failure to report may result in disciplinary action against the administrator.
135Hearing ProceduresA hearing officer is appointed by the Commission within 45 days, if requested by the educatorPDE acts as prosecutor and must establish that grounds for discipline exist.The professional educator has the right to be represented by counsel and to present evidence and arguments.All hearings are closed to the public.When the hearing ends, PDE recommends discipline, and the hearing officer has 60 days to issue a decision.PDE or the defendant may appeal the hearing officer’s decision to the Commission and delay the imposition of discipline.If the appeal finds in favor of the defendant, records of the complaint and proceedings are expunged from any/all personnel files of PDEIf a hearing is required, the process begins with the Commission appointing a hearing officer. The Department of Education acts as the prosecutor and must establish that grounds for discipline exist. The professional educator has a right to be represented by counsel and to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. All hearings are closed to the public unless the defendant requests an open hearing. When the hearing is completed, PDE will recommend discipline and the hearing officer has 60 days to issue a decision. The Department of Education or the defendant may appeal the hearing officer’s decision to the Commission and delay the imposition of discipline. If the appeal finds in favor of the defendant, the records of the complaint and proceedings will be expunged from the educators personnel files and PDE file.
136ReinstatementAny professional educator whose certificate has been suspended, revoked or surrendered may apply to the Commission for reinstatement. When making a decision, the Commission will consider:the conduct which resulted in disciplineother past conduct of the applicantthe applicant's current attitude towards past conductrehabilitation efforts and activitiesreferences and letters of support or oppositionThe Commission will not reinstate the certificate of a professional educator if the suspension or revocation resulted from:a finding of guilt by the Commission for sexual abuse or exploitationsurrender of a certificate in lieu of discipline for conduct relating to sexual abuse or exploitationAny professional educator whose certificate has been suspended, revoked or surrendered may apply to the Commission for reinstatement. The Commission considers whether the conduct warranted discipline, the past conduct of the applicant, the applicant’s current attitude towards past conduct, rehabilitation efforts, and letters of reference in support or opposition to reinstatement. Under certain circumstances the Commission will not reinstate a certificate, including a finding of guilt by the Commission for sexual abuse or exploitation, or if an educator’s certificate was suspended in lieu of discipline for conduct related to sexual abuse or exploitation.
137Permissive ReportingAny interested party, regardless of profession, are considered permissive reporters with a duty to protect students and children.Just a note that all interested party, regardless of their profession, are considered permissive reporters with a duty to protect students and children.
138Current Mandatory Reporting Dismissal for CauseReasonable Belief of Sexual Abuse/Exploitation or Physical Injury as Result of Negligence or MaliceCriminal Indictment/Conviction for Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or Section 111(e)Currently, under PEDA, only Chief School Administrative Officers are identified as mandatory reporters in Pennsylvania and must file a report about an educator who has been dismissed for cause; if there is reasonable belief of sexual abuse or exploitation or physical injury as the result of negligence or malice; or if the educator has been indicted or convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or section 111(e).C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
139Ethical & Fiduciary Obligation to Protect Students Fiduciary: a person in a position of authority whom the law obligates to act solely on behalf of the person he or she represents and in good faithInherent imbalance of power between teacher and student – must not abuse that power or allow others to abuse itMandatory Reporting laws in place to protect students from abuse and teachers who report abuse, encourage educators to act ethicallyIt is incumbent upon every professional educator to understand the ethical and fiduciary obligations to protect students. The definition of fiduciary is: a person in a position of authority whom the law obligates to act solely on behalf of the person he or she represents and in good faith. There is an inherent imbalance of power between teacher and student and the teacher must not be abuse it or allow others to abuse it. Mandated reporting laws are in place to protect students from abuse and teachers who report abuse, encouraging educators to act ethically.
140Proposed Amendments to the PEDA Expanding the jurisdiction of the Commission to include private school educators and educators working for independent contractors in public schoolsIdentifying sexual misconduct as a specific basis for discipline and redefining the term to make it consistent with its use in other statutes and proposed legislation, including behaviors such as sending a student sexually explicit text messagesExpanding grounds for discipline to being named in founded and indicated reports of child abuseExpanding mandatory reporting to PDE to include all educators who resign following an allegation of misconductThe slide represents some proposed changes to the act. Of particular note is bullet number two, which involves identifying sexual misconduct as a specific basis for discipline and redefining the term to make it consistent with its use in other states. Proposed legislation would include behavior such as sending a student sexually explicit text messages.
141Proposed Amendments to the PEDA Shortening the time period for mandatory reporting to PDEProhibiting school entities from entering into confidential settlement agreementsProtecting school districts that provide accurate references for employees who resign while facing allegations of misconductEliminating the current statute of limitations for the filing of complaintsSpecifying rehabilitation opportunities as an option to be used in addition to disciplineImposing a self-reporting requirement on educators who have been indicted or convicted of certain crimesHere are some proposed amendments to the PEDA for your review.
142Proposed Definition of Sexual Misconduct “Sexual misconduct” shall mean any act, including but not limited to any verbal, non-verbal, written or electronic communication or physical activity, directed towards or with a child or a student regardless of the age of the child or student that is designed to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the child or student.Such prohibited acts include but are not limited to:sexual or romantic invitations;dating or soliciting dates;engaging in sexualized or romantic dialogue;making sexually suggestive comments;self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic or erotic nature; orany sexual, indecent, romantic or erotic contact with the child or student.The consent of a child or a student to engage in sexual misconduct may not be a defense or a mitigating factor in any discipline proceeding under this act.Here is the proposed definition of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct shall mean any act, including but not limited to any verbal, nonverbal, written or electronic communication or physical activity, directed towards or with the child or student regardless of the age of the child or student that is designated to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the child or student. Such prohibited acts include but are not limited to: sexual or romantic invitations, dating or soliciting dates, engaging in sexualized or romantic dialogue, making sexually suggestive comments, self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic or erotic nature or, any sexual, indecent, romantic or erotic content with the child or student. The consent of a child or student to engage in sexual misconduct may not be a defense or a mitigating factor in any discipline proceeding under this act. Just to restate, the age of the child is irrelevant, if the child is still enrolled in school, this definition applies.
143Challenges to Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries Small communityGrowing informalityNew technologiesPractice Pointers:Confining passion for teaching to instructionAwareness of one’s own vulnerabilitiesRecognizing whose needs are being met by interactions with studentsProtecting your privacy/your personal brandSome of the challenges to maintaining appropriate boundaries include working and living in a small community, the growing informality between teachers and students and the use of new technologies, especially in social networking. Educators should work hard to confine their passion for teaching to instruction. They should be aware of their own vulnerabilities and recognize whose needs are being met by interactions with students. And it is of utmost importance that the professional educator maintains his or her privacy and personal brand.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
144Acting as a Role ModelBecause of teachers’ position of authority in the classroom/community, there is an expectation that teachers will model acceptable behavior for their students.Teachers are held to a high standard of conduct/ethics – when these standards are not upheld, community demands consequences.Every professional educator must recognize his or her position as a role model. Because of the teacher’s position of authority in the classroom or the community, there is an expectation that teachers will model acceptable behavior for their students. Teachers are held to a high standard of conduct and ethics. When the standards are not upheld the community demands consequences.
145Relationships with Students Teachers may feel flattered by their students’ attention or may be inclined to treat their students like peers.However – it is incumbent on all teachers to safeguard the well-being of their students from dangers inside and outside of school. Teachers must guard against putting their needs before their students’ needs.As we see on an almost daily basis, teachers are making bad choices to engage in relationships with students. Teachers may feel flattered by their students’ attention or may be inclined to treat their students like peers if they are close in age or share the same interests or preferences. However, it is incumbent on all teachers to safeguard the well-being of their students from dangers inside and outside of school. Teachers must zealously guard against putting their needs ahead of their students needs.
146Boundaries Boundaries are external and internal Boundaries become blurred or ambiguous when dual relationships are formedBoundaries are endangered when educator is personally vulnerable and when student is particularly vulnerableIn order to maintain appropriate relationship with students, the professional educator must understand the concept of boundaries. Boundaries are both external (represented in the Commission’s code of conduct) and internal (which is the educator’s own ethical compass). Boundaries can become blurred or ambiguous when relationships are formed. These could take shape as confidante, friend, lover or anything outside of the realm of a teacher. Boundaries are often endangered when the educator is personally vulnerable and when the student is particularly vulnerable. Educators must be aware of their own needs and be cognizant of the lengths some students will go for attention.
147Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries and Communications with Students At minimum:Do not make comments of a personal nature or suggestive in tone to a studentDo not share information of a personal nature about yourself with studentsDo not give personal gifts to a studentDo not place yourself in situations which could be construed as posing a risk to the student or facilitating an inappropriate relationship with studentsAt a minimum, professional educators should not make comments of a personal nature or suggestive in tone to a student. They should not share information of a personal nature with students or give personal gifts to students. They should be especially cognizant of placing themselves in situations which could be construed as posing a risk to the student or facilitating an inappropriate relationship with students.
148Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries and Communications with Students Educators have no reasonable expectation to privacy in materials viewed, accessed, written or stored on a school district computer.Please note, educators have no reasonable expectation to privacy for materials viewed, accessed, written or stored on a school district computer.
149Student and Educator Vulnerabilities Students as peers, suffering from adult relationship issues, immaturity, need for attention, a sense of invulnerability, absence of a developed personal moral compass and lack of personal crisis management skills.Teachers should preface every decision with: “Whose needs are being met by my course of action?” Professional educators need to be cognizant of their own vulnerabilities. The attention, admiration and sometimes adoration bestowed by students on a teacher can be overwhelming, particularly when a teacher is emotionally vulnerable.When a teacher is vulnerable, he or she may view students as peers, suffer from adult relationship issues, be immature, exhibit a need for attention, a sense of invulnerability, absence of developed personal moral compass , or a lack of personal crisis management skills. It is a good practice is for a teacher to preface every decision by considering, “Whose needs are being met by my course of action?”
150Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Behavior Fostering a safe, ethical learning environment for all studentsReferring students to the appropriate resource if they are in need of counselingEnsuring that your actions always serve the best interests of the studentBeing mindful of your reputation in the communityThe next two slides present acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for professional educators. Those acceptable behaviors include fostering a safe, ethical learning environment for students, referring students for counseling if needed, ensuring that actions are always in the best interest of students and always being mindful of your reputation in the community.
151Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Behavior Developing a relationship with a student beyond the recognized boundaries of a teacher/student relationshipPursuing any sexual or romantic contact with a studentExchanging notes, s or other communications with a student of a personal natureInviting students to your home or meeting students in an isolated or private situationThose judged to be unacceptable include engaging in activities directed towards developing a relationship with a student beyond the recognized boundaries of teacher-student relationship regardless of the students age, pursuing any sexual or romantic contact with the student regardless of the student’s age or parent consent, exchanging notes, s or other communication with the student of a personal nature, and inviting students to your home or meeting students in isolated or private situation.
152Appearances of Impropriety Activities that may reasonably raise concerns as to their propriety include:Meeting alone with a student outside of learning/tutoringSocial networking with a studentGiving or soliciting giftsIn our profession, there are many gray areas which may have innocent intentions but give the appearance of impropriety. Activities that may reasonably raise concerns include meeting alone with a student outside of the learning environment or in a tutoring session, social networking with a student, and giving or soliciting gifts.
153Red Flags “Grooming” behavior Unintentional grooming Professional educators should be aware of the “red flags” of grooming behavior in themselves and others. Grooming behavior involves purposeful action taken with the goal of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child or student in order to lower the child or student inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with or exploitation of the child/student. Unintentional grooming involves engaging in inappropriate friendship leading to the slippery slope of misconduct.
154Responding to Misconduct Teachers who witness, or suspect their colleagues of engaging in behavior that causes physical, emotional and/or psychological harm, are legally required to report it.Please take a moment to read the slide.
155Intersection of Technology and Expectations of Educators Your personal brandAppropriate students/teacher boundariesSocial media DOs and DON’TsAs stated in a previous slide, it is imperative that professional educator maintain their personal brand. As we see constantly in the news, professional educators are destroying their brand by engaging in social media with their students. This often results in student-teacher boundary issues.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
156Your Public Brand High community and legal expectations Perception affects reputation and effectivenessImpact on job/certificationAs you recall, as a professional educator there are high community and legal expectations. The perception of the community can affect your reputation and professional effectiveness, which then can have an impact on the job and ultimately on your certification.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
157Boundary Violations Boundaries are external and internal Boundaries become blurred or ambiguous when dual relationships are formedBoundaries are endangered when educator is personally vulnerable and when student is particularly vulnerableI purposely placed this slide in the presentation for a second time to emphasize the importance of this information. Again, boundary violations lead to educator misconduct. Be aware that boundaries are both external and internal. Boundaries become blurred or ambiguous when dual relationships are formed. Always remember that your relationship is that of a teacher, and not a friend, confidant, or counselor. Boundaries are endangered when an educator is personally vulnerable and when their students are particularly vulnerable. Consequently an educator must be aware of their own needs and those of their students.C. Angelo, 4/3/2013
158TipsDo not engage in activities that may reasonably raise concerns as to their propriety;Do not engage in activities directed towards developing a relationship with a student beyond the recognized boundaries of a teacher/student relationship regardless of the student's age;Do not make comments of a personal nature or suggestive in tone to a student;Do not pursue any sexual or romantic contact with a student regardless of the student's age or apparent consent;Do not invite students to your home;Do not see students in isolated or private situations;This slide includes a list of tips for educators to keep in mind so that they do not fall into the “slippery slope” of boundary violations.
159TipsDo not share information of a personal nature about yourself with students;Do not give personal gifts to a student;Do not exchange notes, s or other communications with a student of a personal nature;Do not place yourself in situations which could be construed as posing a risk to the student or facilitating an inappropriate relationship with students;Refer students to the appropriate resource if they are in need of counseling;Ensure that your actions always serve the best interests of the student; andBe mindful of your reputation in the community.
160Educator Ethics and Conduct Toolkit Available on the PDE website (www.education.state.pa.us):Click on “Professional Standards &Practices Commission” at thebottom of the websiteClick on “Educator Ethics andConduct Toolkit” in the navigationmenu on the leftI have included this website reference. It can be accessed on the PDE website under the Professional Standards and Practices Commission tab. I reference the Educator Ethics and Conduct Toolkit as a resource for both new and experienced educators to update their knowledge with regard to the topics presented in this presentation.
161“Whenever you do a thing, act as if the whole world is watching.” Words to Live By“Whenever you do a thing, act as if the whole world is watching.”— Thomas JeffersonC. Angelo, 4/3/2013
162Check Your Understanding 1. Who is covered under the jurisdiction of the Professional Educator Discipline Act? a) All certified professionals b) Charter school staff members c) Private academic school employees d) Independent Contractors e) All of the aboveRead slide.Currently, only answers A and B are correct. Answers C and D are part of proposed amendments to the Law
163Check Your Understanding 2. Educators cannot be disciplined for sexual misconduct with a student if the student consents to the sexual activity. a) True b) FalseRead slide.Answer is b – false.
164Check Your Understanding 3. “Intentional, knowing or reckless conduct causing bodily injury to another or intentional, knowing or reckless conduct which, by physical menace, puts another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury” is part of PEDA’s definition of: a) Negligence b) Indecent Assault c) Moral Turpitude d) ImmoralityRead slide.Answer is c – moral turpitude.
165Check Your Understanding 4. Educators have a reasonable expectation to privacy in materials viewed, accessed, written or stored on a school district computer. a) True b) FalseRead slide.Answer is b – false.
166Check Your Understanding 5. Which of the following are considered the “seven deadly sins” of non-criminal misconduct?IncompetencyCrueltyForgeryd) Immoralitye) Violation of the Codeof Conductf) Stalkingg) Negligenceh) Indecent Assaulti) Violation of Act of May 29, 1931j) IntemperanceRead slideAnswers are A, B, D, E, G, I and J.Forgery, Stalking and Indecent Assault are considered criminal misconduct.
167Contact InformationCarolyn AngeloExecutive Director, PSPC(717)Select “Professional Standards and Practices Committee”