The safety and welfare of our students is our top priority. Below, please find information related to Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse.
Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse Reporting Procedures:
The following information is provided to all employees every school year and each employee is required to sign indicating receipt of this information.
I. Child Abuse Means:
- Child – is a person under the age of 18 years.
- Sexual assault or abuse.
- Willful cruelty and/or unjustifiable punishment of a child.
- Corporal punishment involving injury or traumatic condition.
- Abuse in out-of-home care.
II. A child should be considered a potential victim of abuse when he/she:
- Has an unexplained injury or is reluctant to discuss his/her injury.
- Shows evidence of overall poor care such as poor dental hygiene, poorly dressed, inappropriately dressed for weather conditions, generally or regularly dirty and ill kept.
- Shows evidence of repeated injury.
III. When to Report:
- A child who appears to be in immediate danger.
- A child with unexplained or unusual injuries.
- A child’s request for help relating to physical or emotional abuse.
- Health-threatening, unsanitary living conditions.
IV. Recent Changes in the Law:
- Mandated reporters include childcare custodians, medical and/or non-medical practitioners, and employees of child protective agencies. They must report when they know or reasonably suspect child abuse.
- Any other person reporting known or suspected instance of child abuse shall not incur civil or criminal liability. (See “liability” section for penalties for non-reporting.)
- No child care custodian, medical practitioner, non-medical practitioner, or employee of a child protective service agency who reports a known or suspected instance of child abuse shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized.
- When to report: By telephone, immediately, or as soon as possible, followed by a written report (Suspected Child Abuse Report Form) to be completed by reporting party (DOJ Form #SS 8572) prepared and sent within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident to either the local law enforcement agency or the Child Protective Services Unit of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Social Services.
- General neglect should be reported to the Department of Public Social Services only. General neglect is failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter and supervision.
- The right to response: The mandated reporter must be informed of the results and of any action the agency is taking with regard to the child and family.
V. Criminal and Civil Liability
P.C. 11172a – Immunity from Liability:
Mandated reporters are not liable either in civil damages or from criminal prosecution as a result of making a report. Other persons are not liable either civilly or criminally, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and that the reporter knew the report to be false when filed.
P.C. 11172b – Failure To Report:
Any person who fails to report an instance of child abuse which he or she knows to exist or reasonably should know to exist, as required, by this article, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by confinement in the county jail for a term not to exceed six months or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or both.
VI. Who Must Report:
AB 518 defines the following as mandated reporters:
“Child care custodian” means a teacher, administrative officer, supervisor of child welfare and attendance, or certificated pupil personnel employee of any public or private school; an administrator of a public or private day camp; a licensed day care worker; an administrator of a community care facility licensed to care for the children; Headstart teacher; a licensing worker or licensing evaluator; public assistance worker; employee of a child care institution including, but not limited to, foster parents, group home personnel and personnel of residential care facilities; a social worker or probation officer.
“Health Practitioner” means a physician and surgeon, psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist, resident, intern, podiatrist, chiropractor, licensed nurse, dental hygienist, optometrist, or any other person who is currently licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, a marriage, family and child counselor trainee, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 48980.03 of the Business and Professions Code; an unlicensed marriage, family counselor; a state or county public health employee who treats a minor for venereal disease or any other condition; a coroner; a medical examiner, or any other person who performs autopsies; or a religious practitioner who diagnoses, examines or treats children.
VII. How to Report:
- Try to be clear, with exact names, addresses and ages, if possible.
- Call: Child Protective Services (1-800-4A-CHILD) immediately, or as soon as possible.
- Follow with written report within 36 hours to:
396 North E Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Mandated Reporter Resources (click on links below)
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