Mandated Reporter Training

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1 Mandated Reporter Training Guidelines for calling the Child Abuse or Neglect Hotline The Department of Children and Family Services has designed this training to help you understand your responsibility to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 1

2 What you will learn: When you have completed this training you will : Better recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect Define the types of child abuse and neglect Determine what professions/individuals are mandated to report Know your role as a Mandated Reporter Understand your legal obligations as a Mandated Reporter Know How to Access On-Line Training Resources January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 2

3 What you will learn (Cont d): When you have completed this training you will be able to: Know when and how to report abuse and/or neglect to the Hotline Identify the steps and tools to use when making a child abuse report Identify which groups of children may be at a higher risk of being abused or neglected Understand the process that occurs after a hotline call is made January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 3

4 What is Mandated Reporting? A mandate is simply a legal requirement. Individuals are called Mandated Reporters because they are legally required to report child abuse and neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Hotline. All 50 states have similar requirements. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 4

5 What is My Role as a Mandated Reporter? Your Role: As a person who works with children, it is your legal obligation to report your suspicions to DCFS. It is not your role to investigate what the child has told you. DCFS's Role: It is the obligation of DCFS to provide a Child Abuse Hotline to screen reports and to investigate your report to determine whether the child has been abused or neglected and, if so, how to ensure that the child is protected Illinois law requires all Mandated Reporters to call the DCFS Hotline if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them, in their professional or official capacity, may be abused or neglected. Be clear about what your role is, and what it is not. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 5

6 Who is a Mandated Reporter? ABUSE TTY January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 6

7 Why Is Mandated Reporting Important? Possibly as high as 60% of child abuse and neglect is never reported Illinois accepts around 70,000 reports per year, impacting more that 100,000 children Early detection and intervention may prevent further abuse, neglect and possibly DEATH If Mandated Reporters don t recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect, and report their suspicions to the hotline, intervention and treatment may not be possible. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 7

8 Criteria for Taking a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Criteria for Taking a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: Alleged Victim is under the age of 18 Alleged Perpetrator is an individual residing in the child s home, any person responsible for the child s welfare, or anyone who came to know the child through a position of trust. Specific Incident that raises suspicion that a child has been abused or neglected Harm or Substantial Risk of Physical or Sexual Injury January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 8

9 Mandated Reporter Tip While an "alleged perpetrator" is the person who either directly causes or allows child abuse or neglect to occur, there are different definitions. For DCFS purposes, this includes any individual residing in the child's home, any person responsible for the child's welfare, or anyone who came to know the child through a position of trust, such as mother, father, teacher, counselor, or coach to name a few. If the perpetrator does not fit within one of the above categories, the incident may be a crime but it is not classified as "child abuse." For criminal matters a perpetrator could be anybody. If you are not sure that a situation meets these criteria, call the Hotline anyway. It is DCFS's job to assess the situation. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 9

10 Recognizing types of Child Abuse and Neglect Three main types of abuse and neglect Physical Abuse Inflicts or allows a physical injury that is nonaccidental Creates or allows a substantial risk of physical harm to a child Violates a court order that prohibits the perpetrator from having access to the child Deliberately inflicts or allows cruel or unusual treatment which results in physical or mental suffering by the child; January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 10

11 Recognizing types of Child Abuse and Neglect Three main types of abuse and neglect Physical Abuse (Cont d) Inflicts or allows excessive corporal punishment Gives or allows a controlled substance to be given to a child under 18 years of age Exposes the child to the manufacture of methamphetamine (Note: If a parent or caretaker causes physical injury during overly harsh discipline, it does not matter that he or she did not intend to hurt the child); January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 11

12 Possible Signs of Physical Abuse Unexplained marks on the body Bruises or welts in various stages of healing or in clusters or patterns in the shape of an object Pattern burns Marks hidden from typically exposed skin Behavioral changes, including; extreme vigilance or watchfulness, bullying smaller children, poor social interactions with peers, extreme fear of parents or caregivers, harming animals. Note: You may notice some of these signs after a child has missed school, counseling, or other appointments for a period of time. However, be aware that some children will not display overt behavioral changes. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 12

13 Recognizing Sign and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse Types of Sexual Abuse Sexual Penetration Sexual Molestation Sexual Exploitation Possible Signs of Sexual Abuse Sexual knowledge beyond what is age appropriate Recurring pain or itching in genital or anal area Sexually transmitted diseases Frequent bladder of urinary tract infections Genital injury Unexplained regression or fear Sexually acting out behavior Note: Sexual predators often abuse children in ways that do not leave physical signs, such as fondling the child, exposing themselves to the child, or having the child perform sexual acts on the adult. Even sexual penetration of a child does not always leave obvious physical signs of abuse. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 13

14 Recognizing Types of Child Neglect Types of Neglect Adequate supervision Medical care/attention Food Clothing Shelter Neglect may include significantly delaying the provision of these necessities (such as failing to take a child who has a broken bone for medical treatment). Other forms of neglect include taking illegal drugs during pregnancy, placing a child at risk of harm, or exposing a child to hazardous living conditions. Any child who is present during the manufacture of methamphetamine is considered abused and/or neglected. Note: Do not assume that poverty equates with neglect. Most parents are able to provide minimum requirements for their child. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 14

15 Recognizing Signs of Child Neglect Signs of Neglect Often hungry in the morning Poor hygiene Evidence of no or poor supervision Underweight, poor growth, failure to thrive Dressed inappropriately for the weather Erratic attendance at school January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 15

16 Reporting Psychological Abuse May only be reported by licensed medical and mental health professionals, including: Registered Psychologists Medical Doctors Registered Nurses Certified Social Worker School Teachers Therapists and Counselors employed in a community health agency or social service agency If you suspect mental injury, but you are not one of these licensed professionals, it may be appropriate to refer the child to a qualified reporter for an assessment. If you are not in a position to make a referral, you may want to consult with your supervisor, manager, or licensing representative. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 16

17 What children are at risk of Child Abuse or Neglect? ALL children are at potential risk of child abuse. However, the following groups tend to be more vulnerable. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 17

18 Vulnerabilities High Risk Children Include Preschool Children May not know the words to describe what happened Dependent for all their needs Often isolated January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 18

19 Myth Buster! There is a popular belief that preschool children are inherently unreliable sources of information. Child sexual abusers know this myth and exploit it to their advantage. Research has shown that if questioned properly, even very young children are reliable sources of information. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 19

20 Higher Risk Children: Children with Disabilities Vulnerabilities Family stress: Caretakers may have more stress Isolation Dependency Difficulty January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 20

21 Myth Buster! As with preschoolers, there is a myth that children with certain disabilities are unreliable. Even if a child cannot talk or only expresses herself with difficulty, this should not prevent you from making a report if you suspect child abuse. DCFS investigators have several techniques they can use to communicate with non-verbal children. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 21

22 Vulnerabilities Less social supports Less opportunity for discussion Higher risk of isolation, discrimination, and punishment High Risk Children: GLBTQ Children January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 22

23 Myth Buster! Although some sexual abuse victims are gay, some people have the mistaken belief that boys who were sexually abused by men always become homosexuals. This is simply not true! This myth only makes it more difficult for boys to disclose their sexual abuse histories. Sexual predators may intentionally target youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning youth because they know there's a chance these youth may not be supported by the adults in their lives. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth may be ashamed to tell others that they were sexually assaulted by someone of the same gender, especially if they are questioning their identity or if they were punished, ridiculed, or rejected when they disclosed their sexual orientation. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 23

24 What Is Not Child Abuse and Neglect? Children who are curious about their own bodies Preschool children who giggle while touching their bodies in an exploratory manner Children of the same age and developmental stage who are curious about and explore each other's bodies January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 24

25 Spanking that is not "excessive corporal punishment Dirty home that is not hazardous Older child home alone Child left with relative who often cared for the child Abandoned newborn Infant left at a Safe Haven What Is Not Child Abuse and Neglect (325 ILCS 2/) Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 25

26 Test Your Knowledge #1 Possible signs of physical abuse include: a) Unexplained marks on the body b) Bruises or welts in various stages of healing c) Burns that are in patterns d) All of the above Answer on next slide January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 26

27 Test Your Knowledge #1 Possible signs of physical abuse include: a) Unexplained marks on the body b) Bruises or welts in various stages of healing c) Burns that are in patterns d) All of the above January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 27

28 Neglect occurs when a parent or caretaker fails to provide: a) Adequate supervision, medical care, food, clothing and or shelter b) Schooling, school supplies, appropriate school clothing c) Up to date immunizations d) All of the above Test Your Knowledge #2 Answer on next slide January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 28

29 Neglect occurs when a parent or caretaker fails to provide: a) Adequate supervision, medical care, food, clothing and or shelter b) Schooling, school supplies, appropriate school clothing c) Up to date immunizations d) All of the above Test Your Knowledge #2 January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 29

30 Test Your Knowledge # 3 Which of the following is NOT a sign of sexual abuse: a) Sexual knowledge beyond what is age appropriate b) Recurring pain and itching in the genitals c) Wearing or sleeping with multiple layers of clothing d) Children being curious about their bodies Answer on Next Slide January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 30

31 Test Your Knowledge # 3 Which of the following is NOT a sign of sexual abuse: a) Sexual knowledge beyond what is age appropriate b) Recurring pain and itching in the genitals c) Wearing or sleeping with multiple layers of clothing d) Children being curious about their bodies January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 31

32 Reporter Tip! When in doubt, MAKE A CHILD ABUSE REPORT and let DCFS do its job by investigating! January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 32

33 Dealing with the Child s Disclosure of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Best indicator is child s spontaneous report Disclosure can be stressful to child and YOU Impacts child s safety and journey to recovery January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 33

34 Dealing with the Child s Disclosure of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Body language be at the same eyelevel of the child and respect their personal space. Be aware of your facial expressions Never put words in a child s mouth or ask leading questions Limit your questioning Can be traumatic May negatively impact the DCFS investigation and the criminal investigation. Remember all you need is reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect occurred to call the Hotline. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 34

35 Reporter Tip! Extensive interviews of a child about an abuse incident can traumatize the child and have a negative impact on the investigation, if not done appropriately. After the report is made, a trained professional interviewer will conduct an interview of the child. Multiple interviews of a child can be traumatizing and should be avoided at all costs. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 35

36 Myth Busters Sometimes when children make a disclosure of abuse or neglect, they later say nothing happened. This does not always mean that the child was not initially telling the truth. Sometimes recanting is a natural reaction for children because there may be factors influencing the child to change their story. For example, being frightened, parent pressure, or perpetrator threats may cause the child to change their story. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 36

37 Calling the Hotline January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 37

38 January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 38

39 January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 39

40 Calling the Hotline, Continued January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 40

41 Reporter Tip! As a Mandated Reporter, you have specific rights : To the Hotline worker s full name To speak to the Hotline worker s supervisor if you do not agree with the Hotline worker s decision To request a review of an investigation that has been unfounded if there are concerns regarding the adequacy of the investigation To receive information about the findings and actions taken by the Department during the investigation, including actions taken to ensure a child s safety January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 41

42 Myth Busters Many Mandated Reporters believe that when they make a child abuse or neglect report the child will be removed from their family. In fact, less than 5% of children reported for abuse or neglect are removed from the home and usually it is not long term. For those who are not removed, their families are provided with services to insure the safety of the child. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 42

43 Frequently Asked Questions 1. If I call the Hotline, are you sure the family will not be told my name? Absolutely, confidentiality and anonymity of reporters is the law! DCFS cannot disclose the name of a reporter without an order from a judge. This will usually happen only if juvenile or criminal court proceedings are initiated against the parent or perpetrator 2. What if the family can tell I made the report? Who is going to protect me from the parents? It s just human nature for parents to want to know who reported them for CA/N, so some families may accuse friends, neighbors, or professionals who work with their children of calling the Hotline. The parent may be hoping you will confirm that you made the call. If you feel comfortable with the parent, you can explain that you were mandated to report your suspicions. You can also assure the parent that you want to help and support the family in any way you can. If you feel uncomfortable, you have no obligation to confirm or deny the parents suspicions. If you feel threatened by a family member, call the police. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 43

44 FAQ (Cont d) 3. What happens if my report turns out to NOT be child abuse or neglect? Will I be protected from a lawsuit? Yes, if you made the report in good faith meaning that you had reasonable cause to believe that CA/N occurred. You are protected by law. The law presumes you acted in good faith. 4. If I know other professionals involved with a family have already reported an abuse/neglect situation, do I still need to call the Child Abuse hotline to make a report? Mandated Reporters should never assume that another professional, who is involved with the child has already reported the situation to the Hotline. It is your responsibility to call and report what you know about the situation. Even if a report has already been made, your information is still valuable, as it could assist the investigator in deciding whether to indicate the report. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 44

45 FAQ (Cont d) 5. Have I fulfilled my obligation as a Mandated Reporter if I tell my supervisor (i.e. principal, manager, administrator) about my suspicions of child abuse or neglect? No, it is your responsibility as a Mandated Reporter to ENSURE that a CA/N report is made to the Hotline. Telling your supervisor or anyone else does not fulfill your legal obligation. You must ensure that the report is made. You may want to suggest that you and your supervisor make the call together, especially if you both have first hand information regarding the child. For purposes of documentation, it may be beneficial for the administrator or staff person to jointly complete and sign on the written confirmation of the verbal report before submitting it to the local office January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 45

46 FAQ (Cont d) 6. Does my supervisor have authority to decide whether I call the Hotline? Although every organization has its own policies about reporting CA/N, the law states that under no circumstances shall any person in charge of an institution, control, restrain, or modify a CA/N report. 7. What happens if I have reason to believe a child is abused or neglected but I don t call the Hotline? Mandated reporters who intentionally fail to report suspected CA/N can be charged with a misdemeanor (first violation) or a Class 4 felony (second or subsequent violations). In addition, Mandated Reporters who have a license may lose that license to practice their professions. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 46

47 FAQ (Cont d) 8. Does DCFS always remove children from the home? Not unless it is absolutely necessary. The investigator goes to the home, speaks with parents and the child and assesses whether the child is safe. Investigators can only remove children from their home when there is an urgent and immediate risk to their safety. DCFS tries to keep families together whenever possible by implementing safety plans and providing services to keep the children safe. 9. Where do children go if they are removed from the home? No matter where the child is placed, it is only temporary until a judge hears the case. It depends on the circumstances. DCFS tries to place the children with responsible relatives whenever possible. If that s not possible they may go into foster care. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 47

48 Myth Busters Some Mandated Reporters believe they can't make an anonymous call to the Hotline. Like the general public, Mandated Reporters do have the right to make reports to the Hotline anonymously. Before you make this decision, know all the facts. The investigator will not be able to contact you to verify your information or gather any additional information you may have. This weakens the investigation. You cannot be notified of the results of the investigation because no one will know how to reach you. Also, if something happens to the child, you will have no legal proof that you fulfilled your role as a Mandated Reporter. Although you may feel nervous about calling the Hotline, please remember that you play a critical role in protecting children from abuse/neglect. You hold the key to keeping children safe. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 48

49 Important New Initiatives (Cont d) Animal Abuse Joint agreement between the Department of Agriculture and DCFS regarding reporting abuse. To report animal abuse call: There is growing evidence that people who abuse animals also abuse other people. Research indicates strong links between animal abuse, domestic violence and child abuse. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 49

50 Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 1 Tony, age 16, comes to a campus basketball clinic extremely upset. When taken aside and asked what is upsetting him, he explains to the staff conducting the clinic that an adult male friend of the family took his younger brother to an amusement park yesterday but didn t take him. He is very angry that this man doesn t take him places anymore. When the staff asks about the things they used to do together, Tony discloses that the man has touched his private parts several times. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 50

51 Yes Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 1 Tony disclosed a sexual abuse incident. You have enough information to suspect abuse and you should call the Hotline immediately. Some mandated Reporters might feel they did not have enough information to call the Hotline because they did not know all the details of the abuse or did not have enough information to identify the alleged perpetrator. This is incorrect. Even if Tony refused to give you the name of the alleged perpetrator, you should still call the Hotline. The DCFS investigator can obtain this information from Tony or his parents. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 51

52 Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 2 Mary, age 4, complains to her campus child caretaker about stomach pains as soon as she arrives at day care. When the caretaker asks Mary to point where it hurts, Mary pulls up her shirt and reveals bruises on her stomach and chest. The caretaker takes Mary out into the hallway for privacy and asks how she got the bruises. Mary responds, I m not supposed to tell, and begins crying uncontrollably. Mary refuses to respond to any additional questions. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 52

53 Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 2 Yes Unexplained bruises on a child s stomach and chest give you reasonable cause to believe that the child has been abused. Some Mandated Reporters might feel they did not have enough information to call the Hotline because Mary did not say that anyone abused her. Remember: you don t need a child s statement to make a report. The unexplained bruises on Mary s chest and her refusal to explain what happened give you reasonable cause to believe that abuse has occurred and to call the Hotline. It is the job of DCFS and the police to determine who abused Mary and to ensure that she is protected from that person. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 53

54 Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 3 Noah, age 7, is attending a summer session on the campus playground. Noah told his session leader that his mother was mad and gave him a whoopin over his not coming home yesterday when he was expected. The campus employee asked him if he hurt anywhere or had any bruises. Noah said no. The session leader observed no visible marks or bruises on Noah s exposed legs or arms. Noah explained that his mother whoops all the kids in the family with her hand, or sometimes with her bedroom slippers when they re bad. Then he ran off to play with his friends. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 54

55 Should You Call the Hotline? Scenario 3 No In Illinois, corporal punishment is not considered child abuse if it is not excessive. DCFS does not consider spanking to be excessive corporal punishment unless the child is physically injured or has visible marks, such as cuts, welts or bruises. If a parent physically disciplines an infant, however, that is a high risk situation and you should report it to the Hotline immediately. January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 55

56 What Happens After I Make the Report? January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 56

57 Want More Information? For More Information, Go On-Line to the following Mandated Reporter Course Web Link: https://www.dcfstraining.org/manrep/index.jsp January 13, 2013 Division Clinical Practice and Development, Office of Training, Parent and Caregiver Support 57

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