Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
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All Center employees are “mandated reporters.” This means that we are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect and failure to do so may result in a fine or prosecution by the authorities. Employees must immediately report all suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the Director. The Director and/or the suspecting employee will report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Employees will receive training on recognizing signs of possible abuse and resources will be available in the staff room resource book. The procedures and law for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect are as follows:
- By law (D.C. Code Ann. 2-1352 (a), (b), (c)), as a Child Care Provider, you MUST report suspected abuse or neglect to the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency and/or the Metropolitan Police Department. You are protected, by law, from civil or criminal liability. If you do not report suspected abuse or neglect, you are subject to fine and imprisonment.
- To make a report:
- Immediately write a report on a 3-part OSSE Unusual Incident Report form.
- Include the following information:
- Child’s full name, age, and sex
- Home address for the child
- Names of child’s siblings
- Full names of child’s parents, guardians, and caregivers
- Nature and extent of the abuse or neglect as you know it and any previous abuse or neglect
- Any other information that may be helpful in establishing the cause and identity of the person(s) responsible
- Your name, occupation, and how you can be contacted, as well as a statement of any actions taken concerning the child (first aid given, who you have notified, etc,)
- Report all known information. Even if you are missing any information noted above, include whatever you have and contact CFSA immediately.
- Before placing the phone call, notify the director and have the director sign the form. The director at that time should add any pertinent and appropriate information. Information added shall be initialed. The Director does not have to agree for a report to be made. The suspecting staff member needs to follow up if the call is assigned to another person; the original suspecting staff member is legally responsible for making sure the report is made. If the director is not available (i.e. on vacation) notify the next person in charge and/or the VP/CHRO (Mary Anne Mahin).
- Call the Children and Family Services agency (CFSA) at 202-671-7233 (202-671-SAFE). If you are concerned that the child is in immediate danger, you can also call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-576-6768.
- On the Incident Form, note the following: “(your name) called CFSA on (date) at (time) and spoke with (CFSA service provider’s name).
- Call the GU Office of Compliance and Ethics (202-687-6493).
- Notify the director that you have completed making the report.
- Fill out the HKLC Incident/Injury Report and file in the classroom file or in the Director’s office.
*In the event that a staff member was suspected of abuse or neglect, the appropriate University suspension policies and procedures would be followed simultaneously with policies and procedures outlined by the Child and Family Services Agency. Therefore the appropriate Human Resources specialist and the Office of Compliance and Ethics should be notified immediately.