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Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Bul-1347-1!10!26-09

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Bul-1347-1!10!26-09

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Published by: Antonio Hernandez on Feb 18, 2010
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05/19/2012

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 L
OS
A
NGELES
U
NIFIED
S
CHOOL
D
ISTRICT
 
Policy Bulletin
Policy Bulletin No. BUL 1347.1 October 26, 2009Office of General Counsel Page 1 of 27
TITLE: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECTREPORTING REQUIREMENTSNUMBER: BUL 1347.1ISSUER:
David R. Holmquist, General CounselOffice of General Counsel
DATE:
October 26, 2009
ROUTING:
All EmployeesAdministrators
POLICY
:
 
It is the policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District (District) that all Districtemployees shall report instances of suspected child abuse or neglect by telephoneimmediately, or as soon as practically possible, to an appropriate child protectiveagency and shall prepare and send a written report thereof to the same childprotective agency called within 36 hours of receiving the information concerningthe incident.
MAJORCHANGES:
 This Bulletin replaces Bulletin No. BUL-1347.0 on the same subject issued by theOffice of General Counsel, dated November 15, 2004. It provides updatedinformation and clarification of guidelines for reporting suspected child abuse andneglect, as required by law.
GUIDELINES
:
 
The following guidelines apply:I.
 
BackgroundThe District recognizes that it is the responsibility of all staff to protectstudents from abuse and neglect by becoming knowledgeable about abuseand neglect, its indicators, filing mandatory suspected child abuse reports asrequired, and cooperating with child protective agencies. This bulletinensures that all District employees have access to the information needed tofulfill their mandated child abuse reporting legal obligations.II. District Employees as Mandated Reporters of Suspected Child AbuseA.
 
Pursuant to District policy,
ALL
District employees are mandatedreporters of suspected child abuse/neglect. State law applies tocertificated employees, health practitioners, school police, employees of child care centers, instructional aides, teachers’ aides, teachers’ assistants,and classified employees as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.B.
 
All mandated reporters with actual knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse/neglect must: 1) Call the appropriate local law enforcementdepartment or the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)IMMEDIATELY, or as soon as practically possible, AND 2) Submit thewritten report to the agency called within 36 hours of receiving theinformation (s
ee Section XI – Making a Suspected Child Abuse Report
).
 
 L
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Policy Bulletin
Policy Bulletin No. BUL 1347.1 October 26, 2009Office of General Counsel Page 2 of 27C.
 
Employees reporting suspected child abuse to a school principal, siteadministrator, supervisor, school nurse/doctor, school counselor, co-worker, or other person(s)
do not
fulfill their individual responsibility tomake a mandated telephone and written report to an appropriate childprotective agency.D.
 
Employees discussing or reporting suspected child abuse to theLAUSD’s Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD)
do not
 fulfill their individual responsibility to make a mandated report to anappropriate child protective agency.E.
 
School volunteers are not mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.However, the District encourages volunteers to speak to an administratorpromptly regarding any inappropriate incident, conduct, or behavior.III.
 
Legal Protection for Employees as Mandated ReportersA.
 
State law provides immunity from civil or criminal liability for mandatedreporters who file suspected child abuse reports.B.
 
The District will defend employees who file suspected child abusereports in the course of their employment consistent with District policyagainst any actions/claims that may be made as a result of such reports.IV.
 
Individual Employee Liability for Failure to Report Suspected Child AbuseA. Failure to comply with this policy may subject an employee toprofessional liability, as well as discipline, demotion, dismissal, and thepossible suspension or revocation of credentials.B.
 
Failure to comply with the mandated suspected child abuse reportingrequirements may also subject an employee to personal civil liabilitywhich can result in the cost of defense and subsequent related damagesthe child incurs, if any.C.
 
Any employee, as a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse, whofails to report any instance of abuse or neglect, while knowing orreasonably suspecting abuse or neglect, can incur criminal liability of amisdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for amaximum of six months, a fine up to $1,000, or both.V.
 
Child Protective AgenciesA.
 
An employee suspecting child abuse/neglect must file their mandatedsuspected child abuse report with one of the following child protectiveagencies:
 
 L
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NIFIED
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Policy Bulletin
Policy Bulletin No. BUL 1347.1 October 26, 2009Office of General Counsel Page 3 of 271.
 
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS) at (800) 540-4000.2.
 
Local Law Enforcement Departments (City Police Departments andLos Angeles County Sheriff’s Department) – depending on the locallaw enforcement department with jurisdiction over the location wherethe suspected child abuse occurred
(see Attachment A - Local LawEnforcement Departments Serving LAUSD Schools).
3.
 
Early Education Centers and State preschools must also reportincidents to the Department of Social Services (DSS) CommunityCare Licensing Office at (310) 337-4335.B.
 
The District’s Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) is not achild protective agency and is not authorized to take reports of suspectedchild abuse. Therefore, District employees, as mandated reporters,
mustnot
file a report of suspected child abuse with LASPD Officers or SchoolSecurity Officers.VI.
 
Reportable Victims of Suspected Child AbuseA.
 
Reportable victims of suspected child abuse include any individual underthe age of 18.B.
 
Child abuse can be committed by (1) an adult (an individual 18 years orolder) to a child or student under 18 years old, (2) by a child or student of any age to another child or student under 18 years old, and (3) by a non-student under 18 years old to a child or student under 18 years old.C.
 
Students age 18 or older are not reportable victims of suspected childabuse. However, administrators must take appropriate action to addressinappropriate conduct involving students of any age.D.
 
Students age 18 or older who are determined to be dependent adults arereportable victims of suspected dependent adult abuse to an adultprotective agency (see District policy bulletin, “Dependent/Elder AdultAbuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements”).VII.
 
Definitions of Child AbuseThe following are examples of child abuse:Note: An employee who has a question or is unsure about whether or notconduct, behavior, or an incident should be reported as suspected child abusemay call a child protective agency, such as the Department of Children andFamily Services (DCFS) at (800) 540-4000, the Los Angeles PoliceDepartment (LAPD) at (213) 486-0530, or the local law enforcement

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