Presentation on theme: "California Mandated Reporter Training. Who are mandated reporters? What does child maltreatment look like? When and how do I make a report? What."— Presentation transcript:
Who are mandated reporters? What does child maltreatment look like? When and how do I make a report? What happens after a report is made? Objectives of Mandated Reporter Training
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) 1963- first reporting law passed in CA mandating that physicians report physical abuse of children 1966- all states had child abuse reporting laws providing definitions, procedures, a list of mandated reporters, and liability for failure to report 1980- CANRA was passed in CA. It has been amended multiple times since, and the list of those mandated to report continues to grow.
Mandated reporters are individuals who are mandated by law to report known or suspected instances of child maltreatment They are primarily people who have regular contact with children through their employment Who Are Mandated Reporters?
Over 40 categories are listed in CANRA (P.C. 11165.7) and include Who Are Mandated Reporters?
Deciding When to Report When one "has knowledge of or observes a child in his or her professional capacity, or within the scope of his or her employment whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect..." (P.C. 11166 a) If you suspect, REPORT!!!! Proof of abuse is not required; that will be determined through investigation by the child welfare professionals or law enforcement
Failure to Report Up to 6 months in jail Up to $1000 fine Is a misdemeanor, punishable by May also result in a civil lawsuit, especially if the child-victim or another child is further victimized May also result in loss of professional license or credential
Confidentiality The identity of the reporting party is confidential May only be disclosed to official agencies and professionals involved in the investigation, prosecution, or record-keeping of these cases Any violation of confidentiality of this information is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail, or by a fine of $500, or by both
Immunity Mandated reporters have immunity from criminal or civil liability for reporting as required
Defining Child Abuse and Neglect Under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) when the victim is a child (anyone under the age of 18) and the perpetrator is any person (including a child) the following types of abuse must be reported: Physical Abuse Neglect Sexual Abuse Emotional Abuse
Physical Abuse The willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child (P.C. 11165.3) Unlawful corporal punishment or injury, willfully inflicted, resulting in a traumatic condition (P.C. 11165.4) Physical injury or death inflicted by other than accidental means (i.e., intentionally injuring a child) (P.C. 11165.5)
Physical Abuse Indicators A statement by the child that the injury was caused by abuse Location of bruises: Cheeks, ears, neck, back, buttocks, genitals Any injury with an improbable explanation or with a delay in seeking treatment Bruises in various stages of healing Any injury in an infant Bite marks, burns Injuries that are patterned or have distinct outlines
Motor Development Developmental abilities of a child should be considered when evaluating injuries If a child is unable to roll over or crawl, they are unlikely to have sustained an injury on their own Age Milestones 2 monthsLifts head 4 monthsRolls over front to back 6 monthsRolls over both directions and sits up 9 monthsCrawls, cruises 12 monthsWalks 18 monthsRuns 24 MonthsWalks upstairs
Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for child’s welfare. Includes- Acts and Omissions The neglect either causes harm or threatens to harm the child’s health or welfare. Neglect
Severe Neglect: Intentional failure of caregiver to provide food, clothing, shelter, or medical care, or to protect the child from severe malnutrition; caregiver willfully causes or permits child’s health to be endangered. General Neglect: Failure of caregiver to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision where no physical injury has occurred. Medical Neglect: Failure of caregiver to provide appropriate medical care, dental care. (Exception for religious considerations) Emotional Neglect: Not interacting with an infant or child
Per CANRA, Child Sexual Abuse includes: Sexual Assault Sexual Exploitation Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual Assault Rape, statutory rape, incest, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts upon a child, oral sex, sexual penetration The intentional touching or fondling of a child’s genitals or intimate parts or the clothing covering them, for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification. Masturbating in the presence of a child
Sexual Exploitation Preparing, selling, or distributing pornographic materials involving children Performances involving obscene sexual conductEmployment of minor to perform obscene actsDepicting a minor engaged in obscene acts
Sexual Abuse Indicators Disclosure of Sexual Abuse by the Child Inappropriate sexual behavior with peers Sexual behavior and/or knowledge beyond developmental expectations
Sexual Abuse - Disclosure Most disclosures of sexual abuse are made weeks, months or even years after the abuse occurred Many victims never report at all It is very common for children to recant (deny or withdraw) a previous disclosure of abuse
Why is it so hard to tell? Fear Of perpetrator Of being believed (consequences of disclosure) Of not being believed Shame Revealing the secret Sex is shameful/embarrassing subject This hasn’t happened to anyone else Guilt Feel complicit in the abuse Why didn’t you tell sooner/ run away/scream/make it stop??
Emotional Abuse MUST report abuse that results from verbal disclosures or direct observation and involves any person willfully causing or permitting any child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or endangering the child’s person or health MAY report knowledge or suspicion that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering serious emotional damage (e.g., severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others) P.C. 11166.05
Emotional Abuse Most Difficult Form of Child Abuse to Identify More often seen in combination with other forms of abuse Sometimes takes more than one report to be made for action to be taken by CWS Witnessing of domestic violence may be reported as emotional abuse
Cultural Considerations It is important to be aware of our own cultural beliefs and biases or stereotypes… … they can affect our perceptions Child abuse or neglect can occur in any family, regardless of socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religion, education, ethnic background, or any other factor
Cultural Considerations Keep in mind cultural influences when assessing information or behavior. Educate individuals/families from other cultures regarding American cultural expectations and practices. However, if the practice falls within the legal definitions of child abuse, it must be reported.
Concerning Behaviors/Red Flags Anxious, hyperactive Withdrawn, depressed Self-harming behaviors Low self-esteem Aggressive behavior Use of alcohol or other drugs/other delinquent behaviors Wariness of adults; fear of parents or of going home Inappropriate clothing (though be aware that this may be a cultural issue as well)
When Abuse is Suspected Talking with children Conduct the discussion in private Sit on same level with child Use language that the child understands Allow the child to tell you of their experience in their own words; avoid asking leading or suggestive questions Explore concerns to see if report is warranted- do not investigate!
When Abuse is Suspected If a child discloses abuse Control your emotional response, remain calm Do not express shock, disapproval or disgust regarding the child, parent or disclosure Be aware that the child may not show any particular emotion Provide appropriate reassurance Let the child know what you will do as a result of the disclosure, explaining who you will tell and why.
When Abuse is Suspected What (if anything) should you tell parents? Things to consider May increase risk to child May interfere with investigation Your ability to deal with reaction of parent(s)
Who Files the Report? Responsibility rests solely with the Mandated Reporter Reporting to an employer, supervisor, coworker, or other person is NOT adequate When two or more mandated reporters jointly have knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect, a single report may be made Any member of the reporting team who has knowledge that the designated person has failed to report must do so.
By Phone… Immediately (or as soon as practically possible) call your local CWS Hotline Suspicions of child abuse/neglect should be reported to Child Welfare Services, who will cross-report to the appropriate LE agency Law Enforcement (Police or Sheriff) may be contacted if there is immediate danger Other law enforcement persons, such as school security, are not authorized to receive child abuse reports
…Then in Writing Within 36 hours a written report must be sent to the child protective or law enforcement agency to which the telephone report was made Must be filed on Department of Justice Form 8572 known as the Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) This form is available through county welfare departments and local law enforcement agencies Forms and instructions also available online at http://ag.ca.gov/childabuse/pdf/ss_8572.pdf
8572 Reporting Party’s information Name Date Address Phone
8572 Information of person taking report Name Phone Title Address Date
8572 Victim’s Information Name DOB Address School Present location Language
8572 Incident Information When and Where did the abuse occur? What happened?
What Happens After a Report is Made? Reports that are assigned for investigation are investigated by the county child welfare agency (child protective services) and/or the local law enforcement agency
Child Welfare Services Response time depends on the seriousness of the events reported, age of the child, the situation the child faces, and any known history that may influence the decision. If the child is in danger, the response will be immediate and Law Enforcement may arrive before or accompany CWS. If there is less risk involved, it may be three to ten days before action is taken by CWS
Child Welfare Services Primary responsibility is protection of the child Interview all involved parties Assess for risk Pro Offer services and resources to families as needed On rare occasions, may need to remove the child(ren) to ensure safety.
Possible Outcomes Child is determined to be safe at home o Services may be offered to the family for support Child remains home with a safety plan o Voluntary Services o Court-ordered services Child determined unsafe at home o Child removed and placed in out-of-home care, preferably with a relative
Law Enforcement Primary responsibility is investigation for purposes of criminal prosecution Also shares responsibility to protect the child If the abuse/neglect meets legal criteria, alleged abuser may be arrested and the case forwarded to the District Attorney
Follow-Up Child protection workers and/or law enforcement officers may contact the reporter to gather additional information to aid in the investigation. When the investigation is completed, the investigating agency shall inform the mandated reporter of the results of the investigation and of any action the agency is taking with regard to the child or family. (P.C. 11170 (b) (2))
Key Points Primary intent of the reporting laws is to protect the child Protecting the identified child may also provide the opportunity to protect other children in the home It is equally important to provide assistance or resources to the parents The report of abuse may be a catalyst for change in the home environment, which may help to lower the risk of abuse in the home
Key Points Call CWS if you need help determining “reasonable suspicion” As a mandated reporter you play a CRUCIAL role in identifying and reporting concerns of abuse or neglect of children that may otherwise go unseen If you aren’t certain REPORT If the story seems confusing or implausible REPORT Never investigate - REPORT