Child Abuse Prevention Chancellor’s Regulations A-750
Child Abuse A child is considered abused or maltreated if the child is less than 18 years old (21 years old or less if in aresidential placement) and a parent or other person legally responsible for the child’s care harms thechild, creates substantial risk of harm, or fails to exercise a minimum degree of care to protect the child.
PHYSICAL ABUSE Where the parent or person legally responsible for a child’s care inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child non-accidental physical injury or where a parent or person legally responsible for a child’s carecreates or allows to be created a substantial risk of non-accidental physical injury to such child.
Physical Abuse Indicators Careful assessment of a child’s behavior may also indicate physical abuse, even in the absence of obvious physical injury. Behavioral indicators of physical abuse include the following: • Shows fear of going home, fear of parents • Apprehensive when other children cry • Exhibits aggressive, destructive, or disruptive behavior • Exhibits passive, withdrawn or emotionless behavior • Reports injury by parents • Habit disorders • Self-injurious behaviors (for example, cutting) • Psychoneurotic reactions (obsessions, phobias, compulsiveness, hypochondria) • Wears long sleeves or other concealing clothing, even in hot weather, to hide physical injuries • Seeks affection from any adult
Pay attention to: • Physical injuries that are unexplained or inconsistent with the parent or other caretaker’s explanation • Any suspicious patterns of bruising.
Physical AbuseParental Behavior Indicators • Presence of the following parent/guardian behaviors may indicate an abusive relationship: • Seems unconcerned about the child • Takes an unusual amount of time to obtain medical care for the child • Offers inadequate or inappropriate explanation for the child’s injury • Offers conflicting explanations for the same injury • Misuses alcohol or other drugs • Disciplines the child too harshly considering the child’s age or what he or she did wrong • Sees the child as bad, evil, etc. • Has a history of abuse as a child • Attempts to conceal the child’s injury • Takes the child to a different doctor or hospital for each injury • Shows poor impulse control
NEGLECT The withholding of or failure to provide a child with Adequate: • Food • Shelter, • Clothing • Hygiene • Medicalcare and/or supervision needed for growth and development.
Neglect The most common type of abuse is neglect, affecting nearly two-thirds of maltreated children. One in five children suffers physical abuse, 1 in 10 are sexually abused, and 1 in 20 are emotionally or psychologically abused.
Indicators of Neglect • Consistent hunger, poor hygiene (skin, teeth, ears, etc.), inappropriate dress for the season • Failure to thrive (physically or emotionally) • Positive indication of toxic exposure, especially in newborns, such as drug withdrawal symptoms, tremors, etc. • Delayed physical development • Speech disorders • Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or for long periods of time • Unattended physical problems or medical or dental needs • Chronic truancy • Abandonment
Child’s Behavior Indicators of Neglect • Begging or stealing food • Extended stays at school (early arrival or late departure) • Constant fatigue, listlessness, or falling asleep in class • Alcohol or other substance abuse • Delinquency, such as thefts • Reports there is no caretaker at home • Runaway behavior • Habit disorders (sucking, nail biting, rocking, etc.) • Conduct disorders (antisocial or destructive behaviors) • Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, inhibition of play) • Psychoneurotic reactions (hysteria, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, phobias, hypochondria) • Extreme behavior: • Compliant, passive • Aggressive, demanding • Overly adaptive behavior: • Inappropriately adult • Inappropriately infantile • Delays in mental and/or emotional development • Suicide attempt
Parent’s Behavioral Indicators of Neglect • Treats children in the family unequally • Seems not to care much about the child’s problems • Blames or belittles the child • Is cold and rejecting • Behaves inconsistently toward the child
SEXUAL ABUSE The sexual exploitation of a child by a parent, guardian, relative, caretaker, or other person which mayrange from non-touching offenses, such as exhibitionism, tofondling, intercourse, or use of a child in theproduction of pornographic materials.
Sexual AbuseChild’s Physical Indicators • Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, including oral infections, especially in preteens • Difficulty in walking or sitting • Torn, stained, or bloody underwear • Pain, itching, bruising, or bleeding in the genital or anal area • Bruises to the hard or soft palate • Pregnancy, especially in early adolescence • Painful discharge of urine and/or repeated urinary infections • Foreign bodies in the vagina or rectum
Sexual AbuseChild’s Behavioral Indicators • Unwillingness to change clothes for or participate in physical education activities • Withdrawal, fantasy, or regressive behavior, such as returning to bedwetting or thumb-sucking • Bizarre, suggestive, or promiscuous sexual behavior or knowledge • Reports sexual assault by caretaker • Prostitution • Forcing sexual acts on other children • Extreme fear of closeness or physical examination • Suicide attempts or other self-injurious behaviors
Sexual AbuseParent’s Behavioral Indicators • Very protective or jealous of child • Encourages child to engage in prostitution or sexual acts in presence of the caretaker • Misuses alcohol or other drugs • Is geographically isolated and/or lacking in social and emotional contacts outside the family • Has low self-esteem
TALKING WITH SUSPECTED VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE • DO • Find a private place. • Remain calm. • Be honest, open, and up-front with the child. • Remain supportive. • Listen to the child. • Emphasize that the abuse is not the child’s fault. • Report the situation immediately. • DON’T • Overreact • Make judgments • Make promises • Interrogate the child or try to investigate (this is especially important in sexual abuse cases).
EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT Educational neglect is considered to be the failure of a parent, or person legally responsible for a child, toensure their child’s prompt and regular attendance in school or the keeping of a child out of school for impermissible reasons resulting in an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress.
Procedures for Reporting Educational Neglect A report of educational neglect must be filed whenever a parent fails to ensure his/herchild’s prompt and regular attendance in school or keeps the child out forimpermissible reasons. A report must be filed when the following conditions exist:* • reasonable cause to suspect that the parents are aware or should have been aware of the illegal absenteeism; • reasonable cause to suspect that the parents contributed to the problem or are failing to take steps to effectively address the problem (i.e., failure to provide a minimum degree of care); and • reasonable cause to suspect educational impairment/harm to the child or imminent danger of impairment/harm (proof of actual educational harm is not necessary so long as harm can be reasonably presumed).
Mandated Reporters When a child comes before a mandated reporter in his or her official orprofessional school related capacity and the reporter has reasonable cause tosuspect that the child has been abused, maltreated or neglected (“child abuse”), the reporter is required to report the suspicion to the New York State CentralRegister (SCR) for Child Abuse and Maltreatment in Albany by telephoning thetoll-free number 1-800-635-1522. The reporter is not required to possess certainty or to interview the child before a report is made, only reasonablesuspicion.
Mandated reporters are also obligated to make a report if a parent, guardian,custodian or other person legally responsible for such child comes before thereporter in his/her professional or official capacity and states from personalknowledge facts, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render thechild an abused or maltreated child.
Reporting The mandated reporter must provide the SCR with the name, title and contactinformation for every staff person who is believed to have direct knowledge ofthe allegations in the report, to the extent the reporter has this information. Thereporter must provide information about the alleged child abuse and the child,including whether the child is receiving special education services and thenature of the disability, to the extent the reporter has such knowledge.
Reporting When making the oral report, the caller must ask the SCR for the “Call I.D.” number. The “Call I.D.” number must be retained and used by school officials to complete theNew York State Office of Children and Family Services Form LDSS 2221-A and the DOE On-Line Occurrence (OORS) Report. In addition, the caller should request from the SCR the findings of theinvestigation.
After making the report to SCR, the mandated reporter must immediately (and no laterthan the end of the school day), notify the principal/designee and provide him/her withthe “Call I.D.” number
Previous Report Made If the mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse and has directknowledge that a report has alreadybeen made to the SCR by another mandatedreporter in the school, he/she shall immediately either • report the suspicion to SCR or • (2) consult with the principal/designee. If the principal/designee confirms that another report has been made, he/she mustimmediately provide the “Call I.D.” number to the mandated reporter. If the principal/designee does not provide the mandated reporter with the“Call I.D.” numberby the end of the school day, or if the principal/designee does not confirm that a reporthas already been made to the SCR, the mandated reporter must immediately call inthe report to the SCR and follow the procedures set forth above.
Principals Job The principal/designee or staff member then must prepare a written report using form LDSS 2221-A, within 48 hours after the phone call to the SCR. This report mustinclude the name, title and contact information for every staff person who is believedto have direct knowledge of the allegation in the report.
Mandated Reporter’sPrivacy Reports made by mandated reporters to the SCR are confidential, but reports cannotbe made anonymously. Therefore, mandated reporters mustprovide their names to the SCR. However, local CPS workers are prohibited fromreleasing the name of the personmaking the report or the school affiliation to theparent or person in a parental relationship. In addition, school employees areprohibited from disclosing the name of the mandated reporter or confirming that theschool made the report to the family or any unauthorized individual.
If SCR Declines a Report • If a SCR operator declines to accept a report, the caller may request that a SCRsupervisor review the report. In some situations after restating the facts, the reportwill be accepted by the supervisor. • If a report is not accepted, it is recommended thatthe reporter obtain the name of the SCR operator and/or supervisor who was on thetelephone call.
Reporting Employee Misconduct Every employee or officer of the Department of Education has an affirmative obligation toimmediately report to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York CitySchool District any information concerning sexual abuse and/or misconduct involvingstudents by Department of Education employees or others connected with school programsor services, whether on or off school premises. The knowing failure of an employee orofficer to report said misconduct is cause for removal from office or employment.
LEGAL ISSUES FOR MANDATED REPORTERS Under Social Services Law, any school employee participating in good faith in the making ofa report, the taking of photographs, or theremoval or keeping of a child, will have immunityfrom any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise result by reason of such action.
Liability and Penalties for Failure to Report Under Social Services Law, the willful and/or knowing failure to report child abuse mayresult in criminal action or civil liability if the employee had reasonable cause to suspect it. It may also result in disciplinary action against the employee by the Department ofEducation.
Prohibition against Retaliatory Action School and/or other DOE officials may not take any retaliatory personnel action against amandated reporter because that reporter believes that he/she had reasonable cause tosuspect child abuse and therefore made a report as set forth herein.
Video Concrete Angel • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=P9njhcQUlXc#t=194s