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Mandated Reporters and the Process of a Hotline

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1 Mandated Reporters and the Process of a Hotline
Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division Presented by: Rhonda Liming April 2013

2 What is the Children’s Division Mission?
To protect Missouri children from abuse and neglect; assuring their safety and well being by partnering with families, communities and government in an ethically, culturally and socially responsible manner.

3 Our Guiding Principles
PREVENTION - Families are supported through proactive, intentional activities that promote positive child development and prevent abuse and neglect.  PROTECTION - Children have a right to be safe and live free from abuse and neglect. PRESERVATION – The cultural and ethnic diversity of the children and families of Missouri are recognized, honored and respected. PARTNERSHIP - Families, communities and government share the responsibility to create safe, nurturing environments for families to raise their children.   PRACTICE - The family is the basic building block of society and is irreplaceable. Families are empowered to identify and access services that support, preserve and strengthen their functioning.  PERMANENCY - Children are entitled to enduring, nurturing relationships that provide stability and belonging through family and community connections. PROFESSIONALISM - Staff are valued, respected and supported throughout their career, and in turn provide quality service with value, respect and support for families.

4 Who are we and what do we do?
Receive and investigate reports of possible child abuse and neglect Provide services to families who need assistance in the protection and care of their children Arrange for children to live with foster families when they are not at home Arrange permanent adoptive homes or independent living services for children leaving foster care

5 Mandated Reporters “…or other person with responsibility for the care of children has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the division in accordance with the provisions of sections through …”

6 Mandated Reporters Dentist Chiropractor Optometrist Physician
Medical Examiner Coroner Dentist Chiropractor Optometrist Podiatrist Resident Intern Hospital or clinic personnel engaged in examination, treatment, care, or research of persons Any other health practitioner Psychologist Mental Health professional Social Worker Daycare center worker or other child care worker Juvenile Officer Probation/Parole officer Jail/detention center personnel Teacher Principal or other school official Minister as provided by section RSMo Peace officer or law enforcement official

7 Mandated Reporters Such person is required to report…in an official capacity as a staff member of a medical institution, school facility, or other agency, whether public or private. Person in charge or designated agent shall be notified immediately. That person shall then become responsible for immediately making or causing such a report to be made to the Division. Note: the person with firsthand information should be making the report and schools and other agencies should be mindful of this. This will also help with the child not being questioned by multiple individuals. Nothing in this section, however, is meant to preclude any person from reporting abuse/neglect.

8 Mandated Reporters May make report to any law enforcement or juvenile office Shall not, however, take the place of reporting or causing a report to be made to the Division It is a Class A misdemeanor if a mandated reporter knowingly fails to report to CANHU

9 What is Neglect? Neglect: failure to provide by those responsible for the care, custody and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, nutrition, or any care necessary for his well being. Types of neglect: physical supervision emotional medical educational It is important to remember neglect is not what you would expect or want for the child but a lack of basic needs.

10 What is Physical Abuse? Abuse: any physical injury that is inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for the care, custody and control except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner shall not be construed as abuse. Signs of Physical abuse inconsistent explanation of injury no explanation for injury non-mobile children with an injury

11 What is Sexual Abuse? Sexual Abuse: any sexual act between an adult and a child or between two children when one exerts power over the other. It is NEVER okay for a child to be sexually abused and every incident of which you are made aware should be reported. Types of sexual abuse: physical (touching, fondling, oral sex or intercourse) non-physical (viewing pornography, taking photographs of child, discussion of sexual activity).

12 Statistics on Sexual Abuse
Only 3-5% of cases of sexual abuse will have physical evidence of the abuse. Over 90% of all sexual molestation is committed by someone the child knows or trusts (Darkness to Light, ). In a sample of sexually abused children, 75% did not disclose within a year of the abuse beginning (Elliot and Briere, 1994). Children only tell about sexual abuse when they are ready (Sorenson and Snow, 1991).

13 What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional Abuse: acts of commission or omission by the parents and other caregivers that could cause the child to have serious behavioral, emotional or mental disorders. Emotional Abuse is the most difficult abuse to prove as the investigator must be able to prove the ill effects of the abuse to the child.

14 Criteria for calling the Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline
An allegation of abuse (excludes spanking in reasonable manner) or neglect to a child victim The child victim must be under age 18 at the time of the call; or if the victim is in the custody of the state they can be up to the age of 21. The abuse/neglect must have been inflicted or caused by a person exercising care, custody, and control (parent, adult relative, teacher, day care provider, etc.) over the child, other than by accidental means and Sufficient identifying information (names, addresses, etc) to locate the family and to begin an investigation or assessment.

15 Ask yourself when… A hotline call should be made any time YOU suspect a child has been abused or neglected.

16 Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Created in 1975, RSMo210 Accepts approximately 130,000 calls per year 24 hour, 7 day per week hotline Staffed by Children’s Service Workers

17 What happens if I don’t hotline?
Common Long Term Effects Increased risk of: Sexual disorders Anxiety disorders Alcohol/substance abuse Eating disorders Low self-esteem Serious mental health problems Self-harming behaviors For all children? Thankfully, many children grow up to live normal lives. The severity of the effects depends on: the relationship of the perpetrator to the child the duration and severity of the abuse whether the child was believed upon disclosure if they receive adequate mental health follow up

18 CAN Reports Upon receiving a call, the information is forwarded to the county where the child resides 3 hour contact – emergency reports 24 hour contact – all other investigations/assessments 72 hour contact – educational neglect reports or old allegations where child is protected Not all calls meet the criteria for an actual report; the call will be logged by the agency and the concerns will be documented. Reporters will be advised of how the report is classified upon completion of the call.

19 The Process of A Report Reporter files a report by calling the hotline which is located in Jefferson City. IF a report is accepted by the hotline, the worker will alert the county in which the child resides. The county office will assign the report to an investigator. The Reporter will be contacted for additional information or questions. Attempts will be made by the investigator to make contact with the victim child within 3, 24 or 72 hours depending on the how the report is coded. Contact with non-victim children are to be made within 72 hours. The hotline is investigated fully and a finding is to be made within 30 days in most cases. If the report is made by a mandated reporter, the reporter will get a letter stating the conclusion of the case after the completion of the case.

20 Speaking with Children
The investigator will see and speak with the child (if the child is able to converse) to discuss the allegations. Ideally, a child will be interviewed without a parent present. The child could be seen at school/daycare, in the home or somewhere else depending on the timeframe of the report. All children in the home will be seen and spoken to in order to get their perspective of the incident.

21 Addressing Allegations with the Parents
The worker will complete a home visit with the family to ensure there are no safety concerns and discuss the allegations in the report. Any additional concerns that are noted while speaking with the child/children or collaterals will be addressed. Collaterals can be school officials, neighbors, relatives, non-offending parents or service providers. Worker will address with the family any services that could be beneficial to them.

22 Imminent Danger Imminent danger: suffering serious physical harm, threat to life from abuse or neglect, or has been sexually abused or is at risk of sexual abuse. Protective custody is taken only if it can be determined the child is in imminent danger.

23 If Services Are Needed If the child is not in imminent danger but the child is at risk or the family could benefit from services, this will be discussed with the family. The investigator can implement or connect the family to services to reduce the risk for abuse or neglect. If the investigator feels the family would benefit from further Children’s Division involvement, a Family Center Services (FCS) case or Intensive In-Home Services (IIS) case can be opened to assist the family in developing and meeting goals to help reduce the risk for abuse and neglect.

24 MYTH vs FACT MYTH If I call Children’s Services or Law Enforcement, they will remove the children from their home. FACT Although children can be placed out of their home if they are in danger, most children stay in their home while services and support are provided.

25 Children’s Division Workers take custody of children.
MYTH vs FACT MYTH Children’s Division Workers take custody of children. FACT Only Doctors, Juvenile Officers or Police Officers can take custody of children.

26 If I call the hotline, the family will know that I made the call.
MYTH vs FACT MYTH If I call the hotline, the family will know that I made the call. FACT Many families make a “laundry list” of those who might have called. They will ask everyone until someone admits they did call. Children’s Division staff does NOT disclose who made the call but does have to discuss all allegations in the report.

27 MYTH vs FACT MYTH After I make a hotline call, I have access to all information about the report and family. FACT All information the Children’s Division gathers is confidential. Reporters will get an initial call from the worker after making the hotline to see if the Reporter has any additional information or questions.

28 MYTH vs FACT MYTH If I already know a report was made or a report is open, I need to call the hotline if I have additional concerns. FACT If you know a report is open, you can report additional concerns or information to the assigned worker throughout the duration the report is open.

29 Sexual abuse rarely happens. It also only happens to girls.
MYTH vs FACT MYTH Sexual abuse rarely happens. It also only happens to girls. FACT 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they reach 18 years old.

30 Working with you in protecting Missouri’s children.

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