Organizations that employ mandated reporters should have a written policy and procedures in place for their staff to follow when they have formed a reasonable suspicion that child abuse or neglect has taken place. These procedures help to educate mandated reporters about the reporting procedures within their workplace and help the work organizations to stay in compliance with the state law.
Mandated reporters need to know what their employers expect of them. The employers and supervisors need to know that the mandated reporters have made their reports in a manner that represents the organization’s concern for the health and safety of children. You can use the following guidelines to assess the policy and procedures in your workplace.
Policy and Procedure Guidelines
- – A rationale for the system for mandated reporting
- – Explanation of the state law for child abuse and neglect reporting
- – Explanation of the difference between primary and secondary prevention of child abuse and neglect
- – Explanation of the difference between civil and criminal matters regarding children (persons legally responsible)
- – Who within the work site is a mandated reporter
- – Protection from liabilities for reporting
- – Penalties for failure to report, including actions taken by the work site
- – Confidentiality of the report and the identity of the reporter, how a copy of the report will be kept confidential in the work setting.
- – Reportable conditions as defined by the law, including possible indicators
- – When reports should be made—CPS criteria for registering a report
- – When other actions should be taken for primary prevention
- – How oral and written reports should be completed, including Hotline number
- – Reporting procedures within the work site, specifying who is assigned the responsibility for calling the Hotline, whether notification or consultation with a supervisor is recommended, and the process for obtaining and completing Form # 2221A. Note: a mandated reporter is not required to notify the supervisor of their institution before making a report nor can they be retaliated against by the institution for making a report.
- – Whether report will be disclosed to the family
- – Documentation of the report for worksite records
- – Procedure for quality assurance of reporting system within the worksite
Adapted from material in Educational Policies and Practices Regarding Child Abuse and Neglect.
Report No. 109, Education Commission of the States, Denver Colorado, 1978 pgs. 23–25
Your organization’s policy and procedures should be distributed to all staff members who are mandated reporters. New staff members should receive the materials as part of their orientation package. In-service training should be provided to all staff, first during their orientation and annually thereafter.