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Child Abuse Reporting Humble ISD Student Support Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Abuse Reporting Humble ISD Student Support Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Abuse Reporting Humble ISD Student Support Services

2 Texas Family Code Defines what constitutes child abuse Defines what constitutes child abuse States the reporting requirements States the reporting requirements Outlines consequences of not reporting Outlines consequences of not reporting

3 What is child abuse? There are four major types of child maltreatment: Neglect Neglect Physical abuse Physical abuse Sexual abuse Sexual abuse Emotional abuse Emotional abuse

4 Neglect is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs. Suspect neglect when you see: Obvious malnourishment Obvious malnourishment Lack of personal cleanliness, torn or dirty clothing Lack of personal cleanliness, torn or dirty clothing Obvious fatigue and listlessness Obvious fatigue and listlessness Stealing or begging for food Stealing or begging for food Child unattended for long periods of time Child unattended for long periods of time Need for glasses, dental care, or other medical attention Need for glasses, dental care, or other medical attention Frequent tardiness or absence from school Frequent tardiness or absence from school

5 Physical abuse is physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, shaking, kicking, biting, throwing, stabbing, hitting, burning, choking, or otherwise harming a child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caregiver intended to hurt the child.

6 Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes, or burns without adequate explanations Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes, or burns without adequate explanations Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury Burns or bruises in unusual patterns that may indicate the use of an instrument or human bite; cigarette burns on any part of the body Burns or bruises in unusual patterns that may indicate the use of an instrument or human bite; cigarette burns on any part of the body Lack of reaction to pain Lack of reaction to pain Aggressive, disruptive, and destructive behavior Aggressive, disruptive, and destructive behavior Passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior Passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior Fear of going home or seeing parents Fear of going home or seeing parents Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs Suspect physical abuse when you see:

7 Sexual abuse includes activities such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.

8 Suspect sexual abuse when you see: Physical signs of sexually transmitted disease Physical signs of sexually transmitted disease Evidence of injury to the genital area Evidence of injury to the genital area Pregnancy in a young girl Pregnancy in a young girl Difficulty in sitting or walking Difficulty in sitting or walking Extreme fear of being alone with adults, especially if of a particular gender Extreme fear of being alone with adults, especially if of a particular gender Frequent expressions of sexual activity between adults and children Frequent expressions of sexual activity between adults and children Sexually suggestive, age inappropriate, or promiscuous behavior Sexually suggestive, age inappropriate, or promiscuous behavior Knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for a child’s age Knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for a child’s age Sexual victimization of other children Sexual victimization of other children

9 Emotional abuse is mental or emotional injury that results in an observable impairment in a child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning. It includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, belittling, and rejecting treatment for a child.

10 Suspect emotional abuse when you see: Over compliance Over compliance Low self-esteem Low self-esteem Severe depression, anxiety, or aggression Severe depression, anxiety, or aggression Difficulty making friends or doing things with other children Difficulty making friends or doing things with other children Lagging in physical, emotional, and intellectual development Lagging in physical, emotional, and intellectual development Caregiver who belittles child, withholds love, and seems unconcerned about child’s problems Caregiver who belittles child, withholds love, and seems unconcerned about child’s problems

11 Child Abuse and Neglect: Protection and Prevention Child abuse and neglect affect the lives of nearly 50,000 Texas children each year. Childhood should be a time of happiness and security, but for too many children it is a time of tragedy and suffering. Unfortunately, home is not always the safe place it should be. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services encourages you to advocate for children and help us make communities safe for all children.

12 Your Role Regarding Child Abuse and Neglect Believer – If a child discloses abuse to you it is important to believe the child and seek support from professionals. Believer – If a child discloses abuse to you it is important to believe the child and seek support from professionals. Observer – Be aware of the physical signs of child abuse and neglect, behavior changes, and changes in relationships with peers. Observer – Be aware of the physical signs of child abuse and neglect, behavior changes, and changes in relationships with peers. Listener – Listen to what children are saying. They may speak directly to you, a friend, or indirectly through play, their writing or reactions to books. Listener – Listen to what children are saying. They may speak directly to you, a friend, or indirectly through play, their writing or reactions to books. Reporter – Never assume that someone else will make a report. If you suspect abuse or neglect make a report. Reporter – Never assume that someone else will make a report. If you suspect abuse or neglect make a report. Model – Children need adult models who consider them important and make them feel good about themselves. Model – Children need adult models who consider them important and make them feel good about themselves.

13 Suggestions for Responding to Disclosures of Abuse or Neglect Find a private place to talk with the child Find a private place to talk with the child Do not panic or express shock Do not panic or express shock Express your belief that the child is telling the truth Express your belief that the child is telling the truth Use the child’s vocabulary Use the child’s vocabulary Reassure the child that it is good to tell Reassure the child that it is good to tell Reassure the child that it is not his or her fault, that he or she is not bad Reassure the child that it is not his or her fault, that he or she is not bad Determine the child’s immediate need for safety Determine the child’s immediate need for safety Let the child know that you will do your best to protect and support her or him Let the child know that you will do your best to protect and support her or him Make a report Make a report

14 If you suspect child abuse or neglect: DO NOT try to investigate! DO report reasonable suspicions to Child Protective Services by calling the 24-hour Abuse Hotline at ( ), completing an on-line report, or calling your local law enforcement agency or 911 if the situation is an emergency.

15 Information for Reporting Child Abuse Child abuse and neglect are against the law in Texas. Failure to report them is illegal, too. Child abuse and neglect are against the law in Texas. Failure to report them is illegal, too. The Texas Family Code requires professionals who suspect a child has been abused or mistreated to make a report within 48 hours of first suspecting abuse or neglect. The Texas Family Code requires professionals who suspect a child has been abused or mistreated to make a report within 48 hours of first suspecting abuse or neglect.

16 Who Makes a Report? The first professional who suspects or learns of the abuse/neglect is considered the “first outcry” person. This is the person who is legally required to make the report since they have firsthand knowledge of the abuse/neglect situation. Anyone other than the “first outcry” person would be considered reporting hearsay as they do not have firsthand knowledge of the abuse/neglect situation.

17 Legal Liability Current law requires that professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses or child daycare workers must make a report within 48 hours. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $1,500 (Texas Family Code, Chapter 261).

18 Legal Protection Reports of child abuse or neglect made in “good faith” and “without malice” are confidential and immune from civil liability. Your report is confidential and is not subject to public release under the Open Records Act. The law provides for immunity from civil or criminal liability for innocent persons who report even unfounded suspicions, as long as your report is made in “good faith”. Your identity is kept confidential. Reports of child abuse or neglect made in “good faith” and “without malice” are confidential and immune from civil liability. Your report is confidential and is not subject to public release under the Open Records Act. The law provides for immunity from civil or criminal liability for innocent persons who report even unfounded suspicions, as long as your report is made in “good faith”. Your identity is kept confidential.

19 How to Make a Report Call the Child Protective Services 24-hour toll- free abuse and neglect hotline at or complete an on-line report at https://www.txabusehotline.org. Call the Child Protective Services 24-hour toll- free abuse and neglect hotline at or complete an on-line report at https://www.txabusehotline.org. https://www.txabusehotline.org Reports should be made as soon as possible, but MUST be made within 48 hours. Reports should be made as soon as possible, but MUST be made within 48 hours. When making a report, be specific. To your knowledge, tell exactly what happened and when. Be sure to report all injuries or incidents you have observed, including dates and time of day. When making a report, be specific. To your knowledge, tell exactly what happened and when. Be sure to report all injuries or incidents you have observed, including dates and time of day. Give the agency person any information you have about the relationship between the child and suspected abuser. Give the agency person any information you have about the relationship between the child and suspected abuser.

20 How to Make a Report (Continued) Be prepared to provide the following information, if available, when making a report - child’s name, age, address, brief description of the child, current injuries, medical or behavioral problems, parent names and names of siblings in the home. Be prepared to provide the following information, if available, when making a report - child’s name, age, address, brief description of the child, current injuries, medical or behavioral problems, parent names and names of siblings in the home. You should receive an identification number that can be used by you to follow-up on the report or to add information. You should receive an identification number that can be used by you to follow-up on the report or to add information.

21 How to Make a Report (Continued) Err on the side of caution. If you have reason to suspect child abuse, but are not positive, make the report. If you have any doubts about whether or not it is abuse, call the hotline. They can advise you if the signs you have observed appear to be abuse. Err on the side of caution. If you have reason to suspect child abuse, but are not positive, make the report. If you have any doubts about whether or not it is abuse, call the hotline. They can advise you if the signs you have observed appear to be abuse. If Child Protective Services staff determines that allegations meet the legal definition of abuse and neglect, they will conduct a thorough investigation. Even if your report does not bring decisive action, it may help establish a pattern that will eventually be clear enough to help the child. If Child Protective Services staff determines that allegations meet the legal definition of abuse and neglect, they will conduct a thorough investigation. Even if your report does not bring decisive action, it may help establish a pattern that will eventually be clear enough to help the child.

22 Making a Report Online Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory Services provides a SECURE web site to report suspected abuse/neglect via the Internet. Use of the web site should NOT be a substitute for reporting life-threatening or emergency situations. If you feel that immediate intervention is needed to protect a child, please call the hotline at Call your local law enforcement agency or 911 if the situation is life threatening.

23 Making a Report Online The link for making a report on-line is: https://www.txabusehotline.org You must first click on “Create an Account” to create an account and profile.

24 Making a Report Online (Continued) Once you have filed a report through the Internet reporting system, you will receive an response acknowledging receipt of the information and a PRS identification number for your files. You can find a list of frequently asked questions on internet reporting at https://www.txabusehotline.org/PublicForm/FA Qs.htm response acknowledging receipt of the information and a PRS identification number for your files. You can find a list of frequently asked questions on internet reporting at https://www.txabusehotline.org/PublicForm/FA Qs.htm

25 Child Abuse Reporting Training Activity Scenario #1 As a third grade teacher your day begins with a parent/teacher conference for one of your students about whom you are very concerned. You have tried several things to help this student improve behaviorally and academically, but she is still struggling. As the meeting begins, you share your concerns about her behavior and lack of academic progress. The parent responds by saying “I hear this story every year from her teachers. She’s just an evil seed who will never amount to anything.” Over the course of the meeting the parent continues to make belittling remarks about the child. The parent also says that at home she must “punish her into compliance.” All of these remarks concern you. Later in the day you privately ask the student what type of punishment she gets at home and she tells you that her mother locks her in a dark closet. Is this abuse? Should you make a report? Which reporting method would you choose? (hotline, online or call local law enforcement/911)

26 Scenario 1 Discussion Is this abuse? Yes, this is suspected emotional abuse. Should you make a report? Yes! Which reporting method would you choose? Call the toll free hotline or complete the online report since the student is not in imminent danger.

27 Scenario #2 As the bell rings to dismiss students to go home at the end of the day you notice that one of your seventh grade students is hanging around your room. She asks if you are available for tutoring after school. When you offer to help her she tells you she is terrified to go home. She explains that she is scared of being alone with her uncle who recently moved into their house. As she describes her uncle you realize that she has knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for her age. It is the end of the school day and you know you should not send her home to be alone with her uncle. What would you do and whom should you contact? Is this abuse? Should you make a report? Which reporting method would you choose? (hotline, online or call local law enforcement/911)

28 Scenario 2 Discussion Is this abuse? Yes, this is suspected sexual abuse. Should you make a report? Yes! You should also involve a counselor and/or administrator. Which reporting method would you choose? Call the hotline or local law enforcement as she appears to be in imminent danger. ONLY law enforcement or CPS personnel can determine whether or not to send a student home to a suspected abuse situation.

29 Scenario #3 A 15 year old boy in your class has been outgoing, confident and actively participating in class discussions up until around two weeks go. Over this two-week period you have noticed that he has become withdrawn and very irritable. Although it is May and the weather is extremely hot, he has started wearing long sleeve shirts to school again. Today you see him roll up a sleeve and begin picking at something on his arm. As you walk by him you see what appear to be approximately five circular burn marks on his forearm. At the end of the period, after the rest of the class has left, you share with him that you noticed his injuries and ask if he needs medical attention by the nurse. The student says no and that he is fine. Is this abuse? Should you make a report? Which reporting method would you choose? (hotline, online or call local law enforcement/911)

30 Scenario 3 Discussion Is this abuse? Possibly. Should you make a report? Yes, you should err on the side of caution and report the facts as you observed them. Which reporting method would you choose? Complete the online report or call the toll- free hotline.

31 Counselors are here to help. If you need assistance in making a report, please do not hesitate to ask a counselor for support.


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