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Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

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					                              WICAP HEAD START POLICY

                                                                          September 03, 2010

SUBJECT:               Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect – Reporting
REGULATIONS:           1301.31
                       N-30-356-1

POLICY:

 “A Head Start program in dealing with and reporting child abuse and neglect, will be
subject to and will act in accordance with the law of the State in which it operates, whether
or not that law meets the requirements of the Child Protective Act, 16-1601 thru 16-1637.
Thus, it is the intention of this policy in this interest of the protection of children to ensure
compliance with and in some respects, to supplement State or local law….” Federal
Register Vol. 42 #17 Wednesday, January 2, 1977.

PROCEDURES:

1. Any Head Start staff that has reason to suspect child abuse and/or neglect must follow
   the procedure outlined below.

2. Any Head Start staff that has reason to suspect child abuse and/or neglect must report
   suspected child abuse and neglect without consultation with any other staff person.

3. Do not ask the child directly if he/she was abused.

4. Do not undress the child to look for additional injuries.

5. Record what you have seen and what the child says in the anecdotal notes on the
   Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report form.

6. Contact Child Protective Services – of the Department of Health and Welfare to make a
   verbal report. If the Department of Health and Welfare cannot be contacted, call the
   local law enforcement department. The following information should be shared at this
   time:
   A. Name, address, and age of child.
   B. Name, address, and age of parents, guardians, or other persons having custody of
      the child.
   C. Nature and extent of child’s injury or injuries.
   D. Nature and extent of child’s physical neglect.
   E. Nature and extent of sexual abuse.
   F. Any evidence of previous injuries, including nature and extent.
   G. Any statement (disclosure) made verbatim by the child regarding physical abuse,
      sexual abuse, or neglect.
   H. Any other information which may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child’s
      death, injury, or injuries and the identity of the alleged perpetrator(s).

7. THE FIRST SIX (6) STEPS MUST BE TAKEN WITHIN 24 HOURS OF STAFF’S
   AWARENESS OF A SUSPECTED PROBLEM.

Approved by Policy Council August 24, 2010
Approved by the Board on August 26, 2010
SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT                                                     Page 2



8. Inform the Family Wellness Field Advisor of the incident. Provide original report to the
   Family Wellness Field Advisor. The Field Advisor will then send the original to the
   Family Wellness Coordinator.

9. Call the Family Wellness Coordinator immediately. If unavailable, notify the Children
   Services Coordinator, Community Development Coordinator, or Head Start Director.

10. Have an immediate STAFFING if it is deemed necessary.             Family Wellness Field
    Advisor may request a staffing.

11. Head Start staff conducts social service, education, and home base visits. When a
    staff member visits the family’s home and young children are alone with no adult
    supervision, the following procedure must be followed:
    A. Contact the local law enforcement department. Within the city limits, contact city
        department, and outside of the city limits contact the local Sheriff’s Department.
    B. Ensure that the children are not endangered in the home.
    C. Do not remove children from the home (unless you or the children’s safety is
        threatened).
    D. Stay with the children until the law enforcement personnel have arrived.
    E. Law enforcement personnel will contact the Department of Health and Welfare.

12. A narrative of staff’s observations of the child suspected to be abused or neglected
    must be recorded immediately on the Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report, and
    send immediately to the Family Wellness Coordinator in a sealed envelope marked
    “Confidential”.

13. If needed, a conference of the staff member involved in observation of the child will be
    held with the Family Wellness Field Advisor in order to complete the Suspected Child
    Abuse/Neglect Report form, which is to be sent to Health and Welfare Child Protection.

14. The CPS (Child Protection Services) Worker or law enforcement personnel will be
    expected to contact the parents or legal guardian.

15. CPS Workers and law enforcement personnel will be required to show identification,
    identifying the person, agency, etc., when doing official business at any Head Start site.

16. When law enforcement personnel and/or CPS workers request an interview with a child
    at the site:
    A. Call the Family Wellness Coordinator immediately. If unavailable, notify the
        Children Services Coordinator, Community Development Coordinator, or the Head
        Start Director.

17. For best practices the child should be accompanied by a Head Start staff person to and
    from any interview/contact conducted by the Department of Health and Welfare and/or
    law enforcement.




Approved by Policy Council August 24, 2010
Approved by the Board on August 26, 2010
SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT                                                        Page 3



18. Under no circumstances should Head Start staff contact parents or guardians, prior to
    the report to CPS or law enforcement personnel. This constitutes an investigative visit
    and is out of our legal jurisdiction to conduct.

19. If instructed by Child Protection, the child should be kept at the site until a CPS
    authority or law enforcement personnel arrive.

20. Under no circumstances shall staff members disclose or discuss suspected child abuse
    and neglect concerns with anyone other than staff members who need to know.

21. Under no circumstances shall any staff member disclose/discuss or furnish pertinent
    records unless subpoena specifically states staff member or records for judicial
    proceedings.


       IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE ABOVE PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED!!!


16-1619-REPORTING OF ABUSE, ABANDONMENT OR NEGLECT
Any physician, resident on a hospital staff, intern, nurse, coroner, school teacher, day care
personnel, social worker, or other persons having reason to believe that a child under the
age of eighteen (18) years has been abused, abandoned or neglected or who observes
the child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in
abuse, abandonment or neglect shall report or cause to be reported within twenty-four (24)
hours of such conditions or circumstances to the proper law enforcement agency or the
department. The department shall be informed by law enforcement of any report made
directly to it. When the attendance of a physician, resident, intern, nurse, day care worker,
or social worker is pursuant to the performance of services as a member of the staff of a
hospital or similar institution, she/he shall notify the person in charge of the institution or
his designated delegate who shall make necessary reports. Failure to report as required in
this section shall be a misdemeanor.


16-1620-IMMUNITY
Any person who has reason to believe that a child has been abused, abandoned or
neglected and, acting upon that belief, makes a report of abuse, abandonment or neglect
as required in section 16-1619, Idaho Code, shall have immunity from any liability, civil or
criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant shall have the
same immunity with respect to participation in any such judicial proceedings resulting from
such report. Any person who reports in bad faith or with malice shall not be protected by
this section. Any privilege between husband and wife, or between any professional person
except the lawyer/client privilege, including but not limited to physicians, ministers,
counselors, hospitals, clinics, day care centers and schools and their clients shall not be
grounds from excluding at any proceeding regarding the abuse, abandonment or neglect
of the child or the cause thereof.




Approved by Policy Council August 24, 2010
Approved by the Board on August 26, 2010

				
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