These guidelines are issued in conjunction with an extensive training module, specifically aimed at training school employees and educators on their obligations as mandated reporters of child abuse, which can be located online at California Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training. Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones.
While physical abuse often leaves visible scars, not all child abuse is as obvious, but can do just as much harm. It is important that individuals working with and around children be able to know what constitutes child abuse or child neglect and know how to identify potential signs. One does not have to be physically present or witness the abuse to identify suspected cases of abuse, or even have definite proof that a child may be subject to child abuse or neglect.
Under the law, this means that it is reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion of child abuse or neglect, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person, in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. While the following signs are not proof that a child is the subject of abuse or neglect, they should prompt one to look further.
Community members have an important role in protecting children from abuse and neglect. While not mandated by law to do so, if child abuse or neglect is suspected, a report should be filed with qualified and experienced agencies that will investigate the situation. Examples of these agencies are listed below. Parents and guardians of pupils have the right to file a complaint against anyone they suspect has engaged in abuse or neglect of a child.
Community members do not need to provide their name when making a report of child abuse or neglect. School volunteers, while not mandated reporters, should also be encouraged to report any suspected cases of abuse and neglect. Additionally, school volunteers are highly encouraged by the law to have training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.
The training offered online to mandated reporters, is equally available to school volunteers.
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The list is extensive and continues to grow. All persons hired into positions included on the list of mandated reporters are required, upon employment, to be provided with a statement, informing them that they are a mandated reporter and their obligations to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect pursuant to California Penal Code Section All persons who are mandated reporters are required, by law, to report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
It is not the job of the mandated reporter to determine whether the allegations are valid. No supervisor or administrator can impede or inhibit a report or subject the reporting person to any sanction.
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To make a report, an employee must contact an appropriate local law enforcement or county child welfare agency, listed below. This legal obligation is not satisfied by making a report of the incident to a supervisor or to the school. An appropriate law enforcement agency may be one of the following:. The report should be made immediately over the telephone and should be followed up in writing. Mcayla Sarno. Michael Rayel. John Owens.
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