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Mandated Reporting Monday, August 13, 2012
Who is a Mandated Reporter? Under Virginia law, certain professionals are required to report when acting in a professional capacity. They are: • Persons licensed to practice medicine or any of the healing arts • Hospital residents or interns • Persons employed in the nursing profession • Social workers • Eligibility workers in local DSS • Probation officers • Teachers or other persons employed in a public or private school, kindergarten, or nursery school
Who is a Mandated Reporter? • Persons providing full or part-time child care for pay on a regular basis • Mental health professionals • Law enforcement officers or animal control officers • Professional staff persons employed by a public or private hospital, institution, or facility in which children are placed • Persons associated with or employed by any public or private organization responsible for the care, custody, and control of children • Mediators certified to receive court referrals • Emergency medical services personnel • Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Who is a Mandated Reporter? • Any persons over the age of 18, who has receive training approved by the DSS for the purposes of recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect • Any athletic coach, director or other person 18 years of age or older employed by or volunteering with a private sports organization or team • Administrators or employees of public or private day camps, youth centers and youth recreation programs • Any person employed by a public or private institution of higher education
What do I report? • You report any suspected case of child abuse and/or neglect. • You report suspicions – you do not have to have proof nor do you investigate the case. • There are penalties for failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect within 24 hours of the first suspicion.
How do I report? • Call local Department of Social Services • Call 1-800-552-7096 – this number is statewide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • You need to have as much information as possible including name, address, telephone number of child, birth date or age, sex and race of child, name, address, telephone number of suspected abuser, nature and extent of abuse/neglect including prior incidences. • You can report anonymously but it is encouraged to share your name in case follow up is required.
What Happens When I Call? • Child Protective Services (CPS) has to ensure that the case meets the four validity criteria: • Child is under the age of 18 at the time of the report; • The alleged abuser was in a caretaker role; • The alleged abuse or neglect meets the definition of abuse or neglect as defined by the CPS Program; and • The local agency has jurisdiction to respond to the report.
On the call … • If the criteria is not met, CPS cannot accept the call. • It is okay to ask them for guidance – where do I go next. For example, the call may have been denied because it is out of their jurisdiction. Ask them for the name and number of the correct jurisdiction. • If the criteria is met, CPS can accept the call. • Once call is accepted, CPS must determine if the report is valid for a CPS response. • CPS worker will conduct either a family assessment or an investigation.
Family Assessment • Will be completed within 45-60 days of report. • There is no immediate threat to the child’s safety or well-being. • Examples include: • Lack of supervision • Physical Neglect • Minor Physical Injury • Emotional Abuse/Neglect • CPS worker will work with the family to determine whether or not services are needed to prevent abuse and/or neglect and to meet the needs of the family. • There is no finding of abuse or neglect made.
Investigation Response • Investigation is conducted when there are immediate child safety concerns, previous reports of abuse or neglect, or the report is required by law to be investigated. • Examples include: • Sexual Abuse • Death of a child • Serious physical injuries • Hospitalization due to suspected abuse/neglect • Injuries requiring medical evaluation/treatment • Abandonment • Abuse/neglect occurring in schools, day care centers or homes, foster homes and other non-family settings
Investigation • CPS has 45-60 days from the time of the report to investigate the case. • Findings will be made at the conclusion of the investigation. • Founded: the investigation reveals by a preponderance of evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred. • Unfounded: the investigation reveals insufficient evidence that abuse or neglect occurred. It does not meant that abuse/neglect did not occur, but that the evidence was insufficient for a founded disposition.
Will I know the outcome? • Mandated reporters are informed if your report is being accepted for a CPS response. • At the conclusion of the CPS response, the local agency can tell you that the investigation was unfounded or that the local agency took necessary action. • Other information is restricted under federal and state laws. • You can call CPS and ask what the determination of the report is after 60 days if you have not heard from them.
What is Child Abuse? Physical Abuse: any non-accidental physical injury or threat of injury by a parent or caretaker • Cuts, fractures, bruises, shaking, burns, bites • Patterned bruises or marks such as fingertip or rope markings • Fading bruises or healing cuts, burns, and bites Physical Neglect: the failure to provide for a child’s physical survival needs to the extent that there is harm or risk of harm to the child’s health or safety by a parent or caretaker • Lack of adequate food • Lack of adequate clothing • Lack of adequate shelter • Lack of adequate medical and dental care • Lack of adequate hygiene • Lack of supervision • Abandonment
Child Abuse Definitions continued Sexual Abuse: acts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of minors by parents or other caretakers– can be a single incident or many incidences over a period of time • Incest • Rape • Oral-genital contact • Fondling • Sexual propositions or enticements • Indecent exposure • Child pornography • Child prostitution Emotional Maltreatment: chronic pattern of behaviors such as verbal assaults and/or consistent failure to provide a child with appropriate support, attention, and affection • Screaming, intimidating, rejecting, ridiculing, blaming, sarcasm • Ignoring • Indifference • Intense, chronic family conflict
Helpful Numbers and Resources • 1-800-552-7096 24 Hour Child Protective Services Hotline for reports • Greater Richmond SCAN – 804-257-7226 www.grscan.com • Child Advocacy Center (SCAN) – 804-643-7226 • A Guide For Mandated Reporters in Recognizing And Reporting Child Abuse And Neglect, Commonwealth of VA, DSS, CPS www.dss.virginia.gov • http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cps/mandated_reporters/cws5692/CWS5692%204.30.12.htm