Video: The Child Abuse Reporting, Intake and Dependency Process Source:WashingtonStateDSHS 2.50 minutes
Caregivers, teachers and other professionals in positions that have close and frequent contact with children are considered “mandated reporters” of abuse. The time spent with children makes caregivers likely to become aware of any maltreatment that may be occurring. You must protect the child in care from abuse, neglect or exploitation, as required under Chapter 26.44 RCW. To help us all understand what this means, let’s view this video from Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services.
One of the biggest obstacles to reporting may be the feelings of the potential reporter. It is important to remember that the intention of a child abuse report is to make child protective agencies aware of possible abuse in order to protect a child. Reports are investigated by Child Protective Services and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Those required to report should be aware that reporting does not always mean that a civil or criminal proceeding will be initiated against the suspected abuser. If an investigation does not reveal evidence of child abuse the case may be closed and no further action taken. In cases of intrafamilial abuse (occurring within a family), child protective agency workers can assess a family’s needs and provide appropriate services, referrals, and education.
Educators’ concerns about the parent’s reaction to the report can also be a deterrent to reporting, and should be addressed. Although the identities of mandated reporters are confidential, educators worry about repercussions, including being confronted by angry parents. Remember that becoming involved with investigatory agencies is often a confusing and perplexing experience for parents or caregivers. If confronted by an angry parent or the accused party, the educator should remain calm, and maintain a professional demeanor. The child care programs protocol should provide direction regarding who needs to be contacted in such situations, and what to do to ensure the safety of all involved. Listening to and normalizing a parent’s feelings while expressing appropriate concern and respect may help diffuse the situation.
Although less common, educators may become aware that a colleague has done something that may be considered abusive or neglectful. Denial is a common response when a staff member, especially one who is well-liked and respected, is implicated in possible child maltreatment. It is important to remember that educators must report known or suspected abuse no matter who the suspected abuser is.
Times shown are Pacific Standard Time. If you are in Central or Eastern Time, you will need to adjust the time accordingly.
New Enrollments Set-Up
Monday - Friday 7 am – 8 pm Saturday & Sunday 9 am – 8 pm Holidays 9 am – 8 pm
Live Chat and Email Support firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday - Friday 7 am – 6 pm Saturday & Sunday 9 am – 6 pm Holidays (Email Only) 10 am – 4 pm
Phone Support (360) 602-0960
Monday - Friday 7 am – 6 pm Saturday & Sunday Email and Chat Only Holidays - Email Support Only
Registrations that are submitted after enrollment hours will be processed the next morning. You will receive an email with your log-in information to access the course within an hour after we open the next business day.