Children use abuse to save their lives.Child abuse is an immense problem that does require immediate help provided to the child from the side of specialists. Once a teacher gets an allegation of abuse from a child, he must not require a written statement from the child or must not make the child repeat the allegation in front of other teachers or adult people.
The teacher must not wait until the end of the school day, but report immediately by the means of telephone and support it with a written report within the next 36 hours. The teacher takes individual responsibility for the report, so it cannot be done anonymously.
Both the telephone and the written report are subjects of certain legal procedures. The telephone report should include detailed information about the person making the report and detailed information about the child, suspected of being a victim of abuse: location, special needs, injury, ect.
Afterwards all the details must be repeated by the contact person and approved by the reporting teacher. By no means a teacher should contact the child’s parents and a teacher should not make an investigation.
The next step after the telephone report is the written report. A fax report is an interchangeable form of a written report, required by the “Department of Children and Family Services”. The written reports are made through the forms: SS 8572 or SS 8572(2), reporting the fact of child abuse and by the form DOJ 900, which is a medical report.
Copies should be made and saved by the reporter for further organizational process. Generally all the forms if needed are provided by the child protective agency. All the information in the forms must be full and as objective as possible. They require detailed information about the life of the child, his needs and other information.
A personal opinion of the reporter has no legal value. The information of both written and telephone report is confidential. This confidentiality in case of its violation may result in 6 month of jail, for the person violating it. The teacher may feel free to contact the child protective agency for any questions that may occur throughout the process of reporting the abuse or neglect. The identifying information provided by the reporting teacher should be clear.
The teacher is completely responsible for any information that he conceals, including the name of the possible perpetrator from the contact person. The response and the actions of the child protective agency following the reports may have a wide range.
The teacher has to be ready in case the parent requests details about the reasons the child abuse report was made. Only a small amount of people have access to the report details – and they always are designated reporters such as CARE Program SCAN Team members.
The main role of the teacher is to make the report legally right, according to the local abuse-reporting plan. Any illegal action, incorrect information that does not coincide with the reality and is subjective attitude is a law violation and the teacher takes responsibility for false evidence.