pdf. When providing contact information, especially in emergency situations or reporting online, it is important to provide information where the Children’s
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2 Dear Colleague: system s to discuss mutual concerns su rrounding the reporting and investigation of child abuse and neglect (CA/N). These discussions resulted in the development of guidelines for school personnel. Since then, the information in this publication has been updated to reflect changes in child abus e and neglect laws and C D ivision policy. This guide was initially designed especially for school teachers and other personnel who work with children in the school setting. This publication has now been expanded to be a resource guide for all mand ated reporters. We encourage mandated reporters, school boards, and school districts to use this material. We also recommend local representatives from community support agencies, school districts and C D ivision develop local protocols, ongoing reciprocal training and educational programs to enhance already strong relations. We strongly believe that this material and open communication will ensure protection and support for children and their families to enhance their educational and social devel opment. Department of Social Services website at: https://dss.mo.gov/cd/ . Thank you for your efforts to improve community res ponse to the needs of children and families. If you have any questions, please contact Kara Wilcox – Bauer at (573) 522 – 8024. Please feel free to print this publication and make copies for distribution. Sincerely, Reginald McElhannon Interim s Division Director A UXILIARY A IDS AND S ERVICES ARE AVAILABL E UPON REQUEST TO IN DIVIDUALS WITH DISAB ILITIES TDD / TTY: 800 – 735 – 2966 RELAY MISSOURI: 711 Missouri Department of Social Services is a n Equal Opportunity Employer /Program. M ICHAEL L. P ARSON , G OVERNOR ENNIFER T IDBALL, A CTING D IRECTOR REGINALD E. M C ELHANNON , INTERIM DIRECTOR P.O. B OX 88 J EFFERSON C ITY , MO 6510 3 – 0088 WWW . DSS . MO . GOV 573 – 522 – 8024 573 – 526 – 3971 FAX
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3 Disclaimer This informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. The information contained within this publication is subject to frequent changes due to sta tute and policy updates. Therefore, this publication may not always be up to date. The agency personnel for any legal advice and for the most recent versions a nd interpretations of the applicable laws.
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4 The Mi ssouri Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children has developed free online training for mandated reporters. All mandated reporters are strongly encouraged to complete this training course. http:/ /protectmokids.com/ Lesson 1: Introduction & Legal Requirements of Mandated Reporters Lesson 2: Indicators of Child Abuse and Neglec t Lesson 3: Plan for Responding to Suspicion, Discovery or Disclosure of Child Abuse and Neglect Lesson 4: Effectively Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect The training also has pre – and post – tests. While participants must earn a score of 80% or better on t he post – test for successful co mpletion, the test can be retaken to achieve this goal. Participants who score 80% or greater on the post – test have successfully completed the training and may earn 0.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Section 162.069, RSMo., requires that every school district and the governing body of each charter school shall, by July 1, 2014, include in its teacher and employee training a component that provides up – to – date and reliable information on identifying signs of sexual abuse in children and danger signals o f potentially abusive relationships between children and adults. The training shall emphasize the importance of mandatory reporting of abuse under section 210.115 including the obligation of mandated reporters to report suspected abuse by other mandated r eporters, and how to establish an atmosphere of trust so that students feel their school has concerned adults with whom they feel comfortable discussing matters related to abuse. The training shall also emphasize that: All mandatory reporters shall, upon finding reasonable cause, directly and immediately report suspected child abuse or neglect as provided in section 210.115; No supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit any reporting under section 210.115; and No person making a report under section 210.115 shall be subject to any sanction, including any adverse employment action, for making such report.
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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Mandated Reporter Statute Who is Mandated to Report Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect? 7 Reporting Requirements 7 Anony mous Reporters 9 Immunity/Penalties 9 Legal Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect 10 Reporting Procedure Information for the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Unit 13 Posting Requirements in Schools 14 Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Unit (CANHU) Response Call Classification 15 Response Priority 17 Steps Taken 19 Safety Planning and Removal of Children 20 Conclusion/Determination of Findings 20 Investigations 21 Sharing Information a nd Confidentiality Sharing Information with Reporters 23 Sharing Information w ith the 23 Public School District Liaison 24 Indicators of Abuse and Neglect P hysical Abuse 25 Sexual Abuse 26 Neglect 29 Medical Neglect 30 Educational Neglect 31 Emotional Abuse 32 Child Trafficking 33 Special Investigations Reports to Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Unit (CANHU) 35 Spanking or the Use of Reasonable Force to Protect Persons or Property 35 Reports Made Solely for the Purpose of Harassing a Public School Employee 36 Other Child Abuse/Neglect Reports 37 Appeal Rights Available to School Pers onnel 37 School/Childcare Facility Setting Interviews Interviews of Students/Children i n Childcare Facility b y 38 Interviews by Guardian s Ad Litem and Court Appointed Special Advocates 39
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8 include abuse inflicted by any other person. No int ernal investigation shall be initiated until such a report has been made. The reporting requirements under this section are individual , and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit any reporting under this section. No person making a report s hall be subject to any sanction, including any adverse employment action, for making such report. Every employer shall ensure that any employee required to report has immediate and unrestricted access to communications technology necessary to make an imme diate report and is temporarily relieved of other work duties for such time as is required to make any report. The only exception to the individual reporting requirement is that when two or more members of a medical institution, who are required to report, jointly have knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, a single report may be made by a designated member of that medical team. Any member who has knowledge that the member designated to report has failed to do so shall therea fter immediately make the report. Nothing however, is meant to preclude any person from reporting abuse or neglect. Multiple mandated reporters with knowledge of abuse and neglect may call together to make a single report. Any person or individual requir ed to report may also report the suspicion of abuse or neglect to any law enforcement agency or juvenile office. Such report shall not , however, If an individual required to report suspected instance s of abuse or neglect pursuant to this section has reason to believe that the victim of such abuse or neglect is a resident of another state or was injured as a result of an act which occurred in another state, the person required to report such abuse or n eglect may, in lieu of reporting to the Missouri Children’s Division, make such a report to the child protection agency of the other state with the authority to receive such reports pursuant to the laws of such other state. If such agency accepts the repo rt, no report is required to be made, but may be made, to the Missouri Children’s Division. Any mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child who is under the age of eighteen, who is eligible to receive a certificate of live birth, has died shall report that fact to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner. If, upon review of the circumstances and medical information, the medical examiner or coroner determines that the child died of natural causes while under medical care for an est ablished natural the child’s death and that the child’s attending physician shall be signing the death certificate. In all other cases, the medical examiner or cor oner shall accept the report for required in Section 58.452, RSMo. , and shall report the findings to the child fatality review panel established pursuant to Section 210 .192, RSMo.
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9 Anonymous Reporters (Section 210.109, RSMo.) Mandated reporters may not make child abuse/neglect (CA/N) reports anonymously provided the reporter is informed that reporter information will be held as confidential. Immunity/Penalties (Section 2 10.135 RSMo.) The law provides immunity from civil or criminal liability to those who are required to make reports with C D ivision , any law enforcement agency, or the juvenile office in the completion of an investigation/family assessment. Immunit y is provided regardless of the outcome of the investigation/family assessment; however, it does not apply if a person intentionally files a false report. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor for a person who is required under the law to report. Fili ng a false report is also a Class A misdemeanor.
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10 LEGAL DEFINITIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT (Section 210.110, RSMo.; 13 CSR 35 – 31.010 ) Child is defined as any person, regardless of physical or mental condition, under eighteen years of age. Abuse is defined as any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable ma nner, shall not be construed to be abuse. Victims of abuse shall also include any victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking as those terms are defined in 22 U.S.C. 78 Section 7102(9) – (10). Neglect is defined as the failure to provide, by t hose responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or – being. Victims of neglect shall also include any victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking as those terms are defined in 22 U.S.C. 78 Section 7102(9) – (10). Those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child includes, but is not limited to: The parents or legal guardians of a child; Those exercising supervision over a child for any part of a twenty – four hour day; Any adult person who has access to the child based on relationship to the parents of the child or members of the chi household or the family; Any person who takes control of the child b y deception, force, or coercion; or School personnel, contractors, and volunteers, if the relationship with the child was established through the school or through school – related activiti es, even if the alleged abuse or neglect occurred outside of school or off school grounds. Emotional abuse stability demonstrated by an observable or substantial change or impairment behavior, emotional response, or cognition, which may include, but is not limited to: anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior; and which may be established by either lay or expert witnesses. Physical injury is defined as an y bruising, lacerations, hematomas, welts, permanent or temporary disfigurement; loss, or impairment of any bodily function or organ, which may be Proper or necessary s upport includes adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or other development.
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11 Sexual abuse is defined as any sexual or sexualized interaction with a chil d, except as otherwise provided in paragraph 2 below: 1. Sexual abuse shall include, but is not limited to: A. Any touching of the genitals, anus or buttocks of a child, or the breast of a female child, or any such touching through the clothing; any act in volving the genitals of a child and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person; or penis, female genitalia, or anus by any body part of another person, or by any instrume nt or object; B. Any conduct that would constitute a violation, regardless of arrest or conviction, of Chapter 566, RSMo . if the victim is less than eighteen (18) years of age, section 567.050, RSMo if the victim is less than eighteen (18) years of age, se ctions 568.020, 568.060, 568.080, or 568.090, RSMo, sections 573.025, 573.035, 573.037, or 573.040, RSMo, or an attempt to commit any of the preceding crimes; C. Sexual exploitation of the child, which shall include: (I) Allowing, permitting, or encouragi ng a child to engage in prostitution, as defined by state law; or (II) Allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting of a child as those acts are defined by state law. This includes the s torage or transmission of any data depicting said obscene or pornographic acts, images, or recordings. purpose of providing the proper or necessary care or support of the child, shall not be buttocks, anus, or breasts for reasonable, medical, child rearing, or child care purposes shall not be considered sexual abuse. 3. The division shal l not be required to prove that the alleged perpetrator received sexual gratification or that there was an exchange or promise of anything of value as a result of the act of sexual abuse to establish sexual abuse under Chapter 210 or 211, RSMo. 4. The use of force or coercion is not a necessary element for a finding of sexual abuse. 6. The division shall not be required to prove that the child suffered trauma or harm as a result of the act of sexu al abuse. 7. A child cannot consent to a sexual or sexualized act or interaction with a person Sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patroniz ing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
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