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CHILD ABUSE MANDATED REPORTER TRAINING

Adapted from Patti Agatston, Ph.D.


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Child Abuse Is Everyone’s Problem

  • When children are victimized by the very people responsible for their care, we as a society must not also fail them. We must acknowledge that abuse can and does happen in all types of families within our society.


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Common Underlying factors in These Families Are:

  • Emotional immaturity of the parents

  • Marital friction

  • Financial difficulties

  • Alcoholism or other drug use

  • Severe stress

  • Emotional disturbance


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All school district employees are mandated reporters.

DFCS must always be immediately notified, and by Georgia law no later than 24 hours from the time there is reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused.

Employees may make a direct referral to DFCS, however according to state law, a staff member who makes a report to the “person in charge of the facility” (i.e. principal or assistant principal) or their delegate has complied with the reporting requirement.

Georgia Mandated Reporter Law


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Legal Definition

  • "Abused" means subjected to child abuse.

  • "Child" means any person under 18 years of age.

  • "Child abuse" means:

    • Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; provided, however, physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child;

    • Neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker thereof;

    • Sexual abuse of a child; or

    • Sexual exploitation of a child.


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New to the Law

  • "Sexual exploitation" means conduct by a child's parent or caretaker who allows, permits, encourages, or requires that child to engage in:

    • Prostitution, as defined in Code Section 16-6-9

    • Sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual or print medium depicting such conduct, as defined in Code Section 16-12-100


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Types of disclosures

  • Indirect Hints: “My brother wouldn’t let me sleep last night.”

  • Disguised Disclosure: “I know someone who is being touched in a bad way.”

  • Disclosures with strings attached:“I have a problem, but if I tell you about it you have to promise not to tell.”


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Find a private place to talk

Reassure the child – “I’m glad you told me.”

Listen calmly and openly

Write down the facts in child’s words

Report the disclosure to the designated administrator at your school

Respect child’s confidentiality

Do not quiz or interview, let the trained CPS worker do this

When a child discloses . . .


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What not to say . . .

  • Why didn’t you stop him/her?

  • Are you telling the truth?

  • What did you do to make this happen?


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Remember…

  • Any person or official required… to report a suspected case of child abuse who knowingly and willfully fails to do so shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


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You are protected!

  • Any person or persons…participating in the making of a report or causing a report to be made to a child welfare agency providing protective services…shall in so doing be immune from any civil or criminal liability…provided such participation…is made in good faith.


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Why QPR and Suicide Prevention

As part of the Cobb Mandated Reporter training, Cobb also places suicidal ideation as a mandated reporter role.

During the initial training started in 2004 thru 2006, Cobb’s suicide rate for students fell to ½ the national average.

What you do is important!


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QPR

In School Settings

Question, Persuade, Refer


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QPR

In School

  • QPR isnotintended to be a formof counseling or treatment.

  • QPRisintended to offer hopethrough positive action.




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QPRSuicide Myths and Facts

In School

  • MythNo one can stop a suicide, it is inevitable.

  • FactIf a young person in a crisis gets the help they need, they will probably never be suicidal again.

  • MythConfronting a person about suicide will only make them angry and increase the risk of suicide.

  • FactAsking someone directly about suicidal intent lowers anxiety, opens up communication and lowers the risk of an impulsive act.


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QPRMyths And Facts About Suicide

In School

  • MythSuicidal young people keep their plans to themselves.

  • FactMost suicidal people communicate their intent sometime during the week preceding their attempt.

  • MythThose who talk about suicide don’t do it.

  • FactPeople who talk about suicide may try, or even complete, an act of self-destruction

  • MythIf a suicidal youth tells a friend, the friend will access help.

  • FactMost young people do not tell an adult.

Good Friends Don’t Keep Deadly Secrets!


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QPR

In School

Suicide Clues And Warning Signs

The more clues and signs observed,

the greater the risk.

Take all signs seriously.


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QPR

In School

Strongest Predictors

  • Previous suicide attempt

  • Current talk of suicide/making a plan

  • Strong wish to die/preoccupied with death(i.e., thoughts, music, reading)

  • Depression (hopelessness, withdrawal)

  • Substance use

  • Recent attempt by friend or family member


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QPR

In School

Verbal Clues:

  • “I’ve decided to kill myself.”

  • “I wish I were dead.”

  • “I’m going to commit suicide.”

  • “I’m going to end it all.”

  • “If (such and such) doesn’t happen, I’ll kill myself.”


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QPR

In School

Indirect or “Coded” Verbal Clues:

  • “I’m tired of life, I just can’t go on.”

  • “My family would be better off without me.”

  • “Who cares if I’m dead anyway.”

  • “I just want out.”

  • “I won’t be around much longer.”

  • “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about me.”


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QPR

In School

Behavioral Clues:

  • Past suicide attempt

  • Getting a gun or stockpiling pills

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Impulsivity/increased risk taking

  • Unexplained anger, aggression, irritability

  • Self-destructive acts (i.e., cutting)

  • Chronic truancy, running away

  • Perfectionism


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QPR

In School

Situational Clues:

  • Being expelled from school /fired from job

  • Family problems/alienation

  • Loss of any major relationship

  • Death of a friend or family member, especially if by suicide

  • Diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness

  • Financial problems (either their own or within the family)

  • Sudden loss of freedom/fear of punishment

  • Feeling embarrassed or humiliated in front of peers

  • Victim of assault or bullying


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QPR

In School

Other Youth Related Clues:

  • Change in interaction with family and friends

  • Recent disappointment or rejection

  • Sudden decline or improvement in academic performance

  • Physical symptoms: eating disturbances, changes in sleep patterns, chronic headaches, stomach problems, menstrual irregularities

  • Increased apathy


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QQUESTION

Direct Approach:

  • “You know, when people are as upset as you seem to be, they sometimes wish they were dead. I’m wondering if you’re feeling that way, too?”

  • “You look pretty miserable, I wonder if you’re thinking about suicide?”

  • “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”

    NOTE:If you can not ask the question, find someone who can.


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WAYS NOT TO ASK THE QUESTION

“You’re not thinking about suicide are you?”

OR

“You’re just kidding about killing yourself, right?”

Asking in this way encourages a negative response from

the young person you are talking with. It may also imply

that your are frightened by the intensity of their feelings.

Similarly, be aware of your own non-verbal clues.


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PPERSUADE CONT.THEN ASK:

  • “Will you go with me to talk with your school counselor?”

  • Would you like me to tell your school counselor that you would like to talk to him or her?”


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When a student exhibits suicidal/homicidal behaviors

  • The student involved will be:

    • privately questioned to determine the level of risk

    • offered immediate assistance

    • put under constant adult observation


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  • The custodial parent or guardian should leave campus with the student only after she/he has agreed to take the student for a free assessment.

  • The school official informs the family of how helpful it is for the school or the Prevention Intervention Center to be informed of the results of the assessment.


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NOTE the student :

You are not being disloyal or violating a trust when you share of a young person’s suicidality with a school counselor or administrative staff.

You are being disloyal if you do not!


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WHEN YOU APPLY QPR, the student

YOU PLANT THE SEEDS

OF HOPE.

HOPE HELPS PREVENT

YOUTH SUICIDE.


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Give me three steps the student

Nowhere to run

I’ll be watching you

Hard for the money

RESPECT

9 – 5

Can’t get no satisfaction

We are Family

Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me

Chain gang

Oops, I did it again

Stuck in the middle with you

Helter Skelter

Yellow submarine

Help!

Take this job and shove it!

Let’s get ready to rumble

Bad to the bone

The long and winding road

We are the champions

Hard days night

Tomorrow is only a day away

Eight days a week

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

What song matches your day?


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