Duty to Report Child Abuse
- a parent or legal guardian;
- a person responsible for a child's welfare (defined in section 2(h) of the CPL as a parent, legal guardian, person over 18 residing in the child's home, or owner, operator, volunteer, or employee of a child care organization or adult foster home);
- a teacher or teacher's aide.
Make sure that the school administration adequately informs—and reminds—staff of the reporting requirements of the law and has clear procedures for reporting.
Do you know what constitutes child abuse or neglect? What are the warning signs? If not, consider an in-service session on this issue using local FIA, child advocacy, social work, or probate court resources.
In cases where one member has reported another member for suspected abuse, DO NOT take sides or add to the internal divisions within your unit. Even if you believe the reporting member was mistaken and the association is defending the alleged offender, recognize -- and encourage your membership to recognize -- that:
- the reporter may have had a legal duty to report;
- the standards for reporting are broad, vague, and ambiguous; and
- any staff member with a duty to report is well advised to resolve doubts in favor of reporting.