Lesson 3 Page 3

Lesson 3 - Legal and Ethical Issues

All public schools in California are required to adopt a comprehensive school safety plan. The school safety plan must include child abuse reporting procedures (E.C. 32282(a)(2)(A)). These protocols delineate what information the school personnel will need to provide when reporting and who is responsible for making the report. While school protocol may direct teachers, administrators, and other school personnel to refer all suspicions to the school's social worker or other designated person who will then make the suspected child abuse report, remember that as a mandated reporter you are responsible for ensuring that the report is made. Furthermore, reporting duties “are individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties, and no person making a report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report” (P.C.11166(i)(1)).

It is imperative that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a mandated reporter, and that you are familiar with your district’s policies and reporting procedures.

If a mandated reporter is concerned about possible child abuse or neglect but is unsure whether they should make a report, consultation with the child protection agency should be sought in order to assist in decision-making.

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