JLF-RB: Child Abuse (Child Abuse/Non-Accidental Injuries Procedure for Reports to Arizona Department of Child Safety)

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JLF-RB: Child Abuse (Child Abuse/Non-Accidental Injuries Procedure for Reports to Arizona Department of Child Safety)


©2015 by Arizona School Board Association


CHILD ABUSE

(Child Abuse/Non-accidental Injuries-Procedure for Reports to Arizona Department of Child Safety)


The purpose of a child abuse/non-accidental injury procedure is to provide for the welfare of all students enrolled in attending campus-based schools of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, as well as any ASDB student involved in any school-related activity on or off campus.


It is the responsibility of all employees to report the suspicion or actual knowledge of child abuse or non-accidental injuries of any ASDB student.* [NOTE: Professional confidentiality immunities under the law do not pertain in any civil or criminal litigation in which a child’s neglect, dependency, abuse, or abandonment is in issue not in any judicial proceeding resulting from a submitted report (A.R.S. 8-805 and A.R.S. 13- 3620).]


Persons employed in the ASDB Regional Cooperative Programs shall consult policies and regulations of the respective school districts in which they are completing assignments and shall follow such policies and regulations on this subject unless they are in conflict with the intent of this regulation.


In the event that any employee notices any behavior, physical evidence, or through conversation determines the possibility of child abuse or non- accidental injury to any student as outlined in Policy JLF*, immediate action MUST be taken by the employee with a report to CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES as follows:


Immediately make a verbal report by phone such information to the Child Protective Services of the Arizona Department of Economic Security or to a peace officer. If the concern is a non-emergency, submit an online report via the Online Reporting System for Mandated Reporters.


Phone calls can be made to CPS from any telephone at the campus-based schools.


NOTE: Concerns regarding students eighteen (18) years or older and enrolled in a campus-based program are reported to Adult Protective Services.


At the time of the call, CPS may recommend that the reporter call and file a report with the Police Department:




Following the reports to CPS, the reporting staff member is encouraged to keep such a report confidential. Staff members are advised that releasing information about a report made to CPS cam affect the outcome of an investigation. Any disclosure of information by a reporter is at that person’s sole discretion and does not guarantee any immunity (actual or implied) from legal action because that person is and may be a staff member at ASDB.

If a parent/guardian calls, the CPS case worker calls, or a law enforcement officer calls, or anyone else calls any staff member of ASDB, the response is:



Do not allow a parent or outside person to engage in a discussion with you to elicit information! Repeat the above message as many times as necessary. Advise the Superintendent’s Office of subsequent related calls.


If at any time a Child Protective Services officer responds in person to any ASDB program in response to a call made by an employee, and at such time wishes to take photographs and/or remove the child into protective custody or to escort the child to the place of residence - employees are to release the child to the custody of the Child Protective Services officer.


All further contact with Child Protective Services or Law Enforcement Divisions will be made by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee - NO EXCEPTIONS.


If Child Protective Services or the police are investigating a case, staff members may be asked to provide information to investigating authorities. Interviews of staff members, testimony from a child, or other evidence required by CPS or the police will be coordinated by the Superintendent’s Office or the Superintendent's designee.


Abandonment


Any ASDB student abandoned by the child's parents or guardians shall be re- ported to Child Protective Services.


The Arizona DES Department of Child Safety defines abandoned as follows: Abandonment means failure of the parent to provide reasonable support, to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision, when such failure is accompanied by an intention on the part of the parent to permit such conditions to continue to an indefinite period.


Student-to-Student Abuse


In incidents involving a student-to-student assault between students who are enrolled in and attending a campus based program, whether physical or sexual, the staff member shall immediately report the incident or alleged incident to the Principal/Director. Employees must be alert and sensitive to students who are attempting to tell a responsible adult they trust about an incident of physical or sexual abuse. An incident of physical or sexual abuse is not to be considered as confidential between the student and the employee. Staff members who withhold information on suspected physical or sexual abuse may be subject to disciplinary action on the grounds of neglect of duty, and are subject to local and state laws in effect at the time.


The Principal/Director will be responsible for the steps necessary to fully investigate a reported incident of physical or sexual abuse upon a student by another student in the most confidential way possible. The investigation shall include:



Notification to the Assistant Superintendent’s Office

Parental contacts of students having involvement in an incident.


Involvement of the Police Department to determine whether the incident constitutes a delinquent act and possible referral to the Pima or Maricopa County Juvenile Courts.


Due process rights of all persons involved-students, employees, and parents.


Confidentiality


Reporting of non-accidental injury of children, the circumstances surrounding the incident and medical findings are information of highly confidential nature. Therefore, it is to be conveyed only to persons directly involved in reporting the case and completing the report. At the discretion of the Principal/Director, key staff members may be informed, i.e. nurse, case manager, counselor, dean, team leader, if the welfare of the child is of concern. Staff members will be reminded of the confidential nature of this information. The name of the reporter will not be divulged.


Immunity


Arizona law provides that any person participating in the making of reports required under the provisions on this section, or anyone participating in a judicial proceeding resulting from such reports, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability by reason of such action unless such person acted with malice or unless such person has been charged with or is suspected of abusing or neglecting the child or children in question. Failure to report is a Class 2 Misdemeanor.


Information to Parents


All parents of students enrolled in and attending an ASDB campus program shall be provided a copy of this policy on an annual basis.


Discipline Programs


Child abuse shall not include approved behavioral programs as defined in the Assertive Discipline Policy and established as a result of multidisciplinary staffings.


However, the inappropriate use of techniques established through the above are not protected under this section. Staff members must receive specific training in these techniques and must demonstrate their competency in their use and application for students who are enrolled in and attending ASDB campus based programs.


Student Rights


Students will be educated about their rights to care, food, shelter, and freedom from harm, abuse, and neglect as part of the curriculum at the campus based programs of ASDB.


Staff Training


In-service training will be provided to employees on child abuse and on the implementation of this policy every year within the first month of the school year.