1 Social Work Presentation Child Abuse /Neglect BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS 2 To provide all Baltimore City Public School-based personnel with the knowledge to recognize and report the suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect Objectives 3 To inform all Baltimore City Public Schools employees of the code of Maryland requirements for reporting child abuse and/or neglect To inform all Baltimore City Public Schools employees of the consequences for not reporting suspected child abuse and/or neglect To increase awareness for the need to take steps to protect children from maltreatment and assist their families with treatment services Need to Know 4 Definition of child abuse Those who are responsible for reporting child abuse Where and how does one report child abuse and neglect What the timeframe is for reporting What happens after the report is made What the sanctions are for failing to report Available resources Mandatory Reporters THAT’S YOU! WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING? DEFINITIONS TYPES OF ABUSE WHAT IS CHILD MALTREATMENT? The physical, sexual or mental injury of a child by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child or by any household or family member under circumstances that indicate that the child’s welfare is significantly harmed or at risk of being significantly harmed; Or sexual abuse, whether physical injuries are sustained or not (COMAR 07.02.07.02) Types of Child Abuse Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Neglect Mental Injury Physical Abuse HOW TO RECOGNIZE PHYSICAL SIGNS of Physical Abuse Bruises or welts Burns Lacerations or abrasions Head injuries Skeletal injuries Internal injuries BEHAVIORAL INDICATORS of Physical Abuse Uncomfortable with adults Fear of contact Withdrawn Arrives early for school or stays late Complains of soreness Wears inappropriate clothes to hide body Physical and verbally aggressive Excessive daydreaming Child does not look to parents for comfort SEXUAL ABUSE HOW TO RECOGNIZE PHYSICAL SIGNS of sexual abuse Difficulty in walking or sitting Pain or itching in genital area Recurrent urinary tract infections Poor anal sphincter tone Sexually Transmitted Diseases Pregnancy BEHAVIORAL INDICATORS of Sexual Abuse Sleep disorders Poor peer relationships Social isolation Bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior Suicidal ideation Promiscuity Poor self-esteem Sudden school difficulties Threatened by physical contact Hysteria Unwillingness to change for gym Child Sexual Abuse An individual may notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency if he/she has reason to believe that: A parent, guardian, or caregiver of the child allows a child to reside or regularly associate with a specified individual other than the parent or guardian AND 1. the person is on the registry as a child sex offender AND 2. there is additional information suggesting substantial risk of sexual abuse to the child Neglect HOW TO RECOGNIZE What is Child Neglect? Failure to give proper care and attention to a child by the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian under circumstances that indicate the child’s health or welfare is at risk of significant harm Types of Neglect Abandonment Lack of supervision Nutritional neglect Medical and dental neglect Educational neglect Inappropriate or insufficient clothing Environmental neglect Emotional neglect Social neglect Exploitation PHYSICAL SIGNS of Neglect Poor hygiene Inappropriate clothing for the weather Fatigue Constant hunger Lack of supervision Significant weight loss BEHAVIORAL INDICATORS of Neglect Stealing food Begging Assumes adult responsibility Constant fatigue delinquency Mental Injury HOW TO RECOGNIZE Possible Behavioral Indicators of Mental Injury Pseudo-mature behavior Aggressive, domineering Sexually precocious behavior Lying, cheating , and stealing Psychiatric symptoms Tantrums Bizarre behavior Lacks self-esteem behavior Controlling but lacks self-control Seeks love and acceptance outside of home School learning problems Lack of exploration and curiosity Assessing Mental Injury 2 assessments must be completed by any of the following licensed professionals Licensed Physician Licensed Social Worker Licensed Psychologist Reporting Abuse/Neglect STEPS What to do if child abuse/neglect disclosed to you Support child’s decision to disclose information Make it clear child did the right thing by disclosing Respect the child’s privacy Report SUPPORT FOR REPORTING Contact your discipline supervisor Consult a colleague to discuss the situation Referral Process (Suspected Child Abuse by Caretaker) Complete written report (Form 180) Provide oral report to intake worker at the Department of Social Services Mail written report within 48 hours to DSS Mail a copy to your immediate supervisor marked confidential to the Office of Related Services-Social Work Maintain a copy of the written report in your personal files Content of Oral & Written Report Student identifying information Current location of the child Parent/guardian identifying information Nature and extent of the abuse and /or alleged neglect Any information that will assist in substantiating the abuse Referral Process [Suspected Child Abuse by B C P S Personnel] Copy written report to Complete written referral Provide oral report to intake worker at BCDSS Mail written report within 48 hours to BCDSS alleged abuser’s direct supervisor immediately Copy to your immediate supervisor marked confidential to the Office of Related Services at 200 E. North Avenue Copy written report to Office of Labor Relations immediately at 410-3968885 Investigation Outcomes WHAT HAPPENS AFTER REPORTING? AFTER REPORTING Local school system shall permit local DSS or police officer to question a student during a child abuse investigation (COMAR 13A.08.01.13) School officials are not required to notify parents or guardians Talking with Parents (If Parents Approach School Staff) Be supportive whenever possible Do not try to prove abuse or neglect by accusations or demands Keep the focus upon the welfare of the child Take a non-judgmental stance when talking with parent Explain to parent the legal responsibility to make a referral to the appropriate agency Three Outcomes Indicated Unsubstantiated Ruled Out Findings indicate the abuse occurred The abuse may have happened, but at the current time there is not enough information to be certain There is no indication that the alleged abuse happened Resources ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FOR REPORTERS To Whom Must You Report Baltimore City Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Unit 1900 North Howard Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218 410-361-2235 REPORTER RIGHTS Section 5-708 provides immunity from civil liability or criminal penalty to anyone who in good faith makes a report of suspected child abuse and/or neglect or participates in an investigation, or in any judicial proceeding resulting from the report Confidentiality The name of the mandated reporter can only be revealed by court order Disclosure of the identity of any person whose life or safety is likely to be endangered related to allegation cannot be revealed Disclose only information relevant to the best interest of the child Use professional discretion in revealing information for treatment purposes Failure to Report Consequences for Failure to report Sanctions An employee of the local educational authority who knowingly fails to report suspected child abuse will face progressive disciplinary action ranging from written reprimand to suspension to termination from the local educational authority Additionally, certificated and licensed professionals may have their certificate or license suspended or revoked in 2 circumstances: Termination from the LEA for knowingly failing to report suspected child abuse/neglect Conviction of crime involving child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor; and moral turpitude (COMAR 6-202[Educators]; COMAR 19-311 [Social Work and other Mental Health Providers]) REMINDER: Baltimore City Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Unit 1900 North Howard Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218 410-361-2235 REVIEW Definition of child abuse? Who is responsible for reporting child abuse? Where and how does one report child abuse and neglect? What the timeframe is for reporting? What happens after the report is made? What the sanctions are for failing to report? What are the available resources? QUESTIONS/CONCERNS?