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Child Abuse Presentation

Child Abuse Presentation

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Published by: Antonio Hernandez on Nov 20, 2009
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Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements

BUL – 1347.1 Issued October 26, 2009

Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District that all…employees shall report instances of suspected child abuse…by telephone immediately…to an appropriate child protective agency….

District Employees as Mandated Reporters
State law applies to certificated employees, health practitioners, school police, employees of child care centers, instructional aides, teachers’ aides, teachers’ assistants, and classified employees…

District Employees…
Employees reporting suspected child abuse to a school principal, site administrator, supervisor, school nurse/doctor, school counselor, co-worker, or other person do not fulfill their individual responsibility to report an incident to an appropriate child protection agency.

District Employees…
Employees discussing or reporting suspected child abuse to the LAUSD School Police do not fulfill their individual responsibility to report to the appropriate Agency (Local Law Enforcement or DCFS).

District Employees…
School volunteers are not mandated reporters of suspected child abuse; however, the District does encourage volunteers to speak to an administrator promptly regarding any inappropriate incident, conduct, or behavior.

Child Protective Agencies
Suspected incidents of child abuse should be reported to one of the following agencies:
Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (800) 540 – 4000 Local Law Enforcement Departments (City Police Departments or LA County Sheriff’s Dept.) LAPD: (213) 486 – 0530

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Child Protective Agencies
Early Education Centers and State Pre-Schools must also report incidents to the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Office at (310) 337 – 4335. Los Angeles School Police is not a child protective agency and is not authorized to take reports of suspected child abuse.

Reportable Victims
Reportable victims of suspected child abuse include any individual under the age of 18; students 18 or older are not reportable victims of suspected child abuse. Child abuse can be committed by an adult (18+) to a child or student under 18; or by a child or student of any age to another child or student under 18 yrs. old.

Definitions of Child Abuse

    

Physical Abuse – an injury, external or internal, inflicted on a child by other than accidental means. (Hazing may constitute physical abuse.) Sexual Abuse Non-Consensual vs. Consensual Sexual Activity Neglect Willful Cruelty or Unjustifiable Punishment Mental Suffering, Emotional Well-Being

Definitions of Child Abuse (cont.)
Child abuse does not include a reasonable use of force necessary to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to a person or damage to property, for selfdefense, or to obtain possession of a weapon or another dangerous object within the control of a student;

Definitions of Child Abuse (cont.)
…a mutual fight or physical altercation between minors; and pregnancy, in and of itself

Reasonable Suspicion
 

Reasonable suspicion does not require proof or investigation by the reporting party Reasonable suspicion means it is objectively reasonable for a person to contemplate a suspicion of child abuse based on his or her training and experience Child abuse may be brought to the attention of the mandated reporter from any spoken or written source including the victim, a friend of the alleged victim, a colleague, or an anonymous source or individual.

Investigation
An investigation is a formal process that consists of interviewing the victim, any witnesses, alleged perpetrators, and other individuals, as well as gathering information in order to determine the truth of the allegation. School personnel may not conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of child abuse.

Reporting Child Abuse
An employee who has a question or is unsure about whether or not behavior, conduct, or an incident should be reported as suspected child abuse may call the appropriate child protection agency for consultation. The employee may retain a copy of the Suspected Child Abuse Report for their records as documentation.

Prohibited Actions
Any child who discloses an allegation of abuse should not be asked to provide a written statement or repeat the information to other adults prior to making a suspected child abuse report. Mandated reporters should never contact the victim’s or the alleged perpetrator’s parent/guardian prior to completing the suspected child abuse report.

Sexual Harassment Policy
Making a report of suspected child abuse does not relieve the school or the district of its responsibility to take administrative action to address the alleged or possible sexual harassment.

District Employee as Alleged Perpetrator
An employee who has knowledge of, or reasonably suspects, a district employee of behavior that may be an indication of suspected child abuse should:  File a suspected child abuse report  Immediately inform their supervising administrator If the allegation involves a site administrator, the employee should inform the LD Superintendent or the Staff Relations representative.

Principal/Site Administrator Responsibility

To train, twice a year, all certificated and classified staff To provide staff with a copy of Attachments A (Local Law Enforcement Departments Serving LAUSD Schools), B (Child Abuse Reporting Information Sheet), and C (Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Procedures Site Plan)

Principal/Site Administrator Responsibility

To ensure that each employee under their supervision has annually signed Attachment D, “Employee Acknowledgement of Suspected Child Abuse Reporting District Policy and Legal Requirements” To ensure that each employee under their supervision completes the on-line Child Abuse Assessment annually

Contact information

Office: (213) 241 – 0117 Mobile: (323) 376 - 7594 E-mail: charles.flores@lausd.net

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