To protect children from abuse or neglect, and to protect center employees against false allegations of child abuse or neglect.
Definition of Child Abuse or Neglect:
The physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child under the age of eighteen by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened thereby.
In every state it is mandatory for certain groups of professionals to report any suspected incidences of abuse or neglect. The following are required by the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Reporting Act #303-9 to be mandated reporters:
* Teachers and caregivers
* Child care center directors or principals
* Health care providers, (doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and psychologists.)
* Law enforcement personnel
* Social workers
* Photolab personnel
1. The staff who suspects child abuse or neglect is to notify the director. A conference between the staff and the director will be held immediately and documented. The director will assess and observe the child and determine if evidence supports suspected abuse.
2. Suspicions of abuse and neglect do not have to be proven before they are reported. If there is any reason to believe that a child is being mistreated or inadequately cared for, child protective services shall be contacted immediately at the Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-482-5964. The law does not require that the family or adult be notified when a report is filed because this could create additional danger to the child.
3. If it is determined that a report should be filed, an oral report will be given over the phone by the center director immediately. The oral report will include the following:
* Child’s name, age, address
* Description of abuse
* Offender’s identity if known
* Reporter’s name, title, address and telephone number
* Parent’s name and address.
4. A written report shall be completed within 24 hours of the oral report. The written report shall include the same information as the oral report along with any further information such as the explanation of the incident from the child and recent and drastic changes in the child’s behavior.
5. Section 5 under Arkansas Law allows any mandated reporter or person in charge of the mandated reporter to take color photographs of the areas of visible trauma on a child.
6. If the director decides not file a report, the staff member identifying the suspected child abuse or neglect may file a report to the agency without fear of jeopardizing his/her position, but they are required to fill out a written report and to notify the center director of their decision.
7. You are advised that children are subject to being interviewed by Child Care Licensing, DCFS Special Investigations and Law Enforcement for investigative purposes and/or for determining compliance with licensing requirements.
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