The San Luis Obispo County Child Abuse Prevention Council provides Mandated Reporter of Suspected Child Abuse Training for medical/health professionals, schools, child-service organizations and government agencies.    To arrange a training contact call 543-6216.

 

 MANDATED REPORTER TRAINING ON-LINE MODULES   Chadwick Center of Rady Children’s Hospital

 

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MANDATED REPORTER TRAINING

Training is provided for professionals who are mandated by law to report incidents of suspected child abuse.These professionals include educators, clergy, healthcare providers, recreation leaders, therapists, child protective service workers, group home employees, law enforcement personnel, and others working with children and teens. Training sessions are held throughout the County at various times during the year. If you wish to request a training sessions, please call 805-543-6216.

If you suspect child abuse, MANDATED REPORTERS MUST ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES:

  • Immediately call Child Welfare Services at 805-781-KIDS (5437)
  • If you are a reporting as Mandatory Reporter, complete and file aSuspected Child Abuse Report Form #SS8572.
  • Retain a “readable” copy of the SCAR Report.
  • YOU are responsible for making this report. DO NOT ALLOW your supervisor/principal to make the report for you or assume because another co-worker has some of the same information that they will make the report.
  • Do not attempt to investigate, interview or interfere with the information you hold.
  • Remember that you are to report SUSPECTED abuse – you are not required to have witnessed or have complete proof of the incident. You are obligated by law to report what you observe or what you are told that caused suspicion that a child is being physically, sexually, emotionally abused or being neglected. When in doubt, call CWS or law enforcement and get their input about the scope of your report.Special Concerns regarding reporting of child abuse

The following are guidelines as to when a mandated reporter is to report suspected child abuse.

SEX BETWEEN CHILDREN

  • Children cannot give consent by definition; consent is not a defense
  • It is normal for children to be curious about their and other’s bodies – but extreme sexual preoccupation, experimentation, or adult acts may be indicative of abuse
  • Cases should be explored on case-by-case basis; Children can be prosecuted for sexually abusing other children
  • Mandated professionals must report suspected child abuse when they have reasonable suspicion of abuse
  • It is against the law for any contact with anyone 14 or older to have sexual contact with child 13 or younger (more serious offense – felony)
  • Cases must be reported, even if perpetrator is teenager and both victim and perpetrator described acts as “consensual”

SEXUAL INTERCOURSE BETWEEN CHILD

  • Law requires the reporting of unlawful sexual intercourse between a child younger than 16 and an adult 21 years of age or older (unless married or emancipated minor)

LEWD AND LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT BETWEEN CHILD

  • Case law defines lewd and lascivious conduct as touching any part of the body of a child or the child touching the perpetrator for the purpose of arousing, or gratifying the sexual desire of the perpetrator or the child
  • Law requires the reporting of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child age 14 or 15 years old and an adult at least 10 years older than the child

UNLAWFUL SEX BETWEEN MINORS

  • Teenagers who are 14 and older may be willing participants to some types of sexual activities, sexual contact is not in and of itself reportable
  • No one under 18 years of age can give consent
  • Consensual sexual activity between a minor and an adult is reportable abuse because it constitutes child molestation

ADULTS ABUSED AS CHILDREN

  • Purpose of mandated reporting is to protect victims of child abuse
  • If adult says that he/she was abused as a child, report because you do not know if statute of limitations has expired and because the perpetrator may still have access to children

MINORS WITH PAST ABUSE

  • If a minor reports past abuse, then a report must be made at the time that knowledge is gained regardless of when suspected abuses occurred
  • Statue of limitations may not have expired, and other children may presumably be in danger

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

  • Widely minimized and under-reported
  • Report instances of emotional abuse believed to be harmful to the child
  • Report must be made if emotional suffering constitutes willful cruelty and unjustifiable punishment of child

REFUSAL OF MEDICAL TREATMENT

  • Refusal of medical treatment for religious reasons does not alone constitute neglect
  • Report must be filed if failure to seek medical care is endangering the child’s life or health

HOMELESSNESS

  • Homelessness is not in and of itself a reportable condition
  • Report must be made in specific instances of physical abuse, neglect, sexual
    abuse or emotional abuse
  • Priority is to provide necessary shelter, food, education, and other
    services

LATCHKEY CHILDREN

  • Young children who are unsupervised may be at risk
  • Red Flags
    • Children caring for younger siblings
    • Children left unsupervised for long periods of time
    • Children who express fear about being home alone, or are unable to cope with mergency
  • Report must be made if child’s health or safety is endangered

DRUG-ADDICTED PARENTS

  • Drug-addicted parents of unborn child
  • Report not required for pregnant women
  • Positive screen at time of delivery not sufficient basis for reporting unless other factors indicate risk to child
  • Parent unable to care for children due to drug abuse
  • Report must be made if drug use hinders consistent and safe care to young
    children

CULTURAL ISSUES

  • Variations of child-rearing practices due to cultural diversity
  • Law does not exempt cultural practices from reporting requirements
  • System’s response focuses on providing education about safe practices

“SAFE BABY” LAW

  • SB 1368 is designed to prevent parents from abandoning babies, and putting them in life threatening situations
  • Allows parents of infants 72 hours or younger to surrender their baby to hospital
  • Also allows for a “cooling off” period of 14 days, so that parent may reconsider decision and reclaim the child