20Child Abuse Reporting M.G.L., Chapter 119 section 51 A: (a) A mandated reporter who, in his professional capacity, has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from: (i) abuse inflicted upon him which causes harm or substantial risk of harm to the child's health or welfare, including sexual abuse; (ii) neglect, including malnutrition; or (iii) physical dependence upon an addictive drug at birth, shall immediately communicate with the department orally and, within 48 hours, shall file a written report with the department detailing the suspected abuse or neglect.
21Child Abuse ReportingAbuse – Any act or failure to act that places a child in jeopardy of physical, mental, or emotional injuries.Report must be made within 48 hours after professional has cause to believe abuse has occurred.
22Child Abuse Reporting Report contents – Description of believed abuse. Name and address of child.Name and address of person. responsible for child’s welfare.Any other pertinent information.
23Child Abuse Reporting Procedures Staff members will immediately report suspicion of neglect/ abuse to the school psychologist or building principal. He/she will contact the Superintendent or his/her designee. This team of professionals will determine the course of action.
24Child Abuse Reporting Procedures If a 51 A is to be filed , the school psychologist will do the intake and in the majority of cases immediately call the report into the Department of Children and Families, formerly DSS. This call will be followed within 48 hours by a written report which will be kept in a file with the Director of Pupil Services.
25Child Abuse Reporting Procedures DCF discourages schools from asking parents for permission to interview students, however, DCF suggests that when such an interview takes place, a member of the school staff be present. Therefore, the DCF case worker will interview the student in the presence of the building principal or designee.A copy of the 51A will be filed in the Director of Pupil Services’ office. The Superintendent will be informed of the filing within 24 hours.