· DO…know what child abuse and neglect is, and what to look for (even though the video is something you see every year, please pay close attention to the types of child abuse and neglect that are out there)
o Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Neglect
· DO…know what suspicion means
o the “uh-oh” feeling
o “I’m worried about what may be happening to that student”
o Explanations that don’t match an injury
o Several different stories for an injury
o Parental behavior – domestic violence, addiction, untreated mental illness can be directly related to child maltreatment. Might see evidence of one of these things during parent interactions.
· DO…help your peers to identify suspicion
o Important to help each other if you hear a key word from a colleague
§ Worried about him/her, concerned about him/her, have you noticed…
§ These concerns should be taken immediately to the designated reporter (school counselor, social worker, or administrator in building.
· DO…Know what to do and who to call at all times
o Counselor, SSW, AP, Principal---during school hours
o If none of the above staff are in the building notify the appointed designated staff for that day, or Student Services at the BOE (Chon Hester, Jessica Stormer, or April Brown), or 911, or 1-855-GA-CHILD
o Call 911 or 1-855-GA-CHILD after school hours and on weekends. Request a mandated reporter letter.
· DO…have a plan for reporting when you are busy with instruction or other duties
o The day gets busy…but there must always be a mechanism for always reporting these suspicions IMMEDIATELY. “Get the monkey off your back”
o Our procedure at LMS is for staff to call the front office and request a counselor, social worker, or administrator to their room to make a report.
o As a teacher or other staff member, you have fulfilled your duty to report once you report to the designated reporter
· DO…find someone to help report suspected child abuse immediately
o (e) With respect to reporting required by subsection (c) of this Code section, an oral report by telephone or other oral communication or a written report by electronic submission or facsimile shall be made immediately, but in no case later than 24 hours from the time there is reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred.
· DO…Get to know your students and parents
· Don’t….Ignore your gut feeling
o Report any concerns of child abuse. We see only the tip of the iceberg, and your feelings, observations are extremely important in identifying child abuse.
· Don’t….Wait until the end of the day or later to report something
o when we suspect that a student may be going home to an abusive household, we must report this immediately
o Once you report to the designated reporter for the building, they start another series of events that take a while to complete. They must have this information immediately to complete the report to DFCS and/or Law Enforcement in a timely and thorough manner
· Don’t…forget to note all indicators of abuse or neglect that concerned you.
o Think of parent interactions, student behavior, if the student has special needs, etc
· Don’t….hesitate to reach out to a school counselor, SSW, or administrator for help