Presentation on theme: "Protocol for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect Greenville County School District."— Presentation transcript:
Protocol for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect Greenville County School District
Goals 1.Discuss importance of protecting children 2.Provide definition of Child Abuse and Neglect 3.Identify types of abuse and neglect 4.Share who is responsible for reporting child abuse and neglect 5.Explain how school employees report child abuse and neglect
Why Protect Children? Parents have the primary responsibility for children under the age of 18 Parental responsibilities include: Feeding Clothing Protecting children’s mind Providing shelter Supervising Providing Health Care Educating
What is Child Abuse and Neglect? Can be subjective with many variables and gray areas What was OK at one time may not be OK another time
Legal Definition: Child abuse or neglect occurs when the parent, guardian or other person responsible for the child's welfare inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury or engages in acts of omissions which present a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the child…
What Types of Child Abuse & Neglect are There? Major Types of Child Maltreatment: Physical Abuse Physical Neglect Sexual Abuse Mental Injury
What Normally is Not Abuse and Neglect? Sibling on sibling events Faded, old, torn clothing Junk food Dirty face, hands and clothing Lack of educational materials Use of space heathers Lice, scabies, insect bites
Responding to a Child Listen attentively Do not probe for details, especially concerning sexual abuse Avoid leading questions and all inclusive words Do not remove clothing
Responding to a Child Do not express doubt or disbelief; anger or shock Tell the child that you are going to contact DSS Do not give false assurances that you will keep information confidential Report when essential information has been obtained Document
Who is Responsible for Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect? Mandatory Reporters by Law Principals Assistant principals Teachers Nurses Guidance Counselors Social Workers
Who is Responsible for Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect? Mandatory Reporters by District Policy All district employees must report All must report orally and in writing Any doubt about reporting is to be resolved in favor of protecting the child
Make verbal report to Child Protective Services by calling (864) or to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Do not report to any other agencies Call as early in the day as possible. How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
Complete form 250/217 Rev. 7/2012 (available on Downloadable Resources) Fax it to: Child Protective Services (864) How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
Inform principal orally of report –The principal or immediate supervisor should be notified orally as soon as possible. Give the original to your principal to be kept in a file. How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
Report shall not be distributed / shown to anyone other than DSS, law enforcement and principal. Do not place copies of report in the student’s record. Report is not considered part of a student’s educational record. Report is not subject to disclosure under Policy JR. How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
DSS will screen reports to determine if appropriate for investigation. DSS is supposed to telephone mandated reporters to inform of decision to investigate or not. If accepted for investigation, DSS must begin an investigation within 24 hours (Emergency Protective Custody situations must be initiated in 2 hours). How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
When making a report for abuse, contact law enforcement as well as DSS if the nature of the abuse is severe. After a case has been reported to DSS, if no one from DSS has visited the school as the school day is coming to an end, contact law enforcement if there is concern regarding sending the student back into a potentially abusive environment. How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
DSS Will… Interview student alone Notify parent as soon as possible after initiating the investigation Make a decision to indicate or unfound the case within 45 days
Things To Remember Starting January 17, 2012, Greenville DSS began using an automated screening tool that will help intake workers make distinctions between children that are at risk versus children that are unsafe. The tool helps distinguish between low, medium and high risk. If children are in an unsafe or a high risk situation then DSS will follow the normal procedure of investigation.
Things To Remember However, if children are deemed to be in a low to moderate risk situation, then DSS will refer those cases to a community partner, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY). SAFY will then assess the situation and help the family locate services to reduce the risk. If at any time, SAFY identifies a safety issue, the case will be referred back to DSS to investigate.
If the case is diverted to SAFY, a SAFY worker will contact the family between 5 and 7 days depending on the risk level. SAFY may come to the school to see the child but must have a signed parental consent form. How Do School Personnel Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect ?
Things To Remember DSS may not release the reporter’s name; the identity of reporter is protected by law. District employees cannot reveal the identity of the person making a report to the person suspected of the abuse. When making a report, use specific terms in describing the alleged abuse or neglect Ask DSS to have the caseworker bring camera if needed.
Things To Remember It is best NOT to contact child’s parent / guardian. DSS investigations may last up to 45 days. District personnel may contact DSS to inquire if a case was indicated or unfounded. Indicated cases are transferred to the treatment division of DSS for further services.
Things To Remember DSS has 24-hour coverage seven days a week. If calling after 4:30, the answering service will take your information and forward it to a caseworker, who should contact you as soon as possible. DSS has no rights to school records without a signed release from a parent / guardian Refer to Policy JGI and Rule JGI for more detailed information.
Penalty for Not Reporting Fined not more than $500 Imprisoned not more than six months Or both of the above