Welcome to Lakeland Schools

5146 Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting

Adoption Date: 02/28/2008, Revised: 11/17/2011, 03/19/2020
5000 - Students

5146 Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting
Regulation Info: 5146R 

The Board of Education recognizes the duty of school officials, as mandated reporters, to report suspected incidents of domestic child abuse, maltreatment or neglect (including educational neglect) to the Statewide Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment orally or by facsimile, on an immediate basis and with a follow-up report in writing, within 48 hours to the County Department of Child Protective Services.

Mandated Reporters
Pursuant to law, school officials who are mandated reporters include all administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, school nurses, coaches, and any other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate.   Such individuals are under a duty to report as set forth below in this policy.

Other Reporters
The Board expects employees other than the mandated reporters to report suspected incidents of child abuse and maltreatment to the Building Principal at the school in which the child attends.

Mandated reporters shall call the Statewide Central Register telephone number to report an incident of suspected child abuse.  They shall ask for the call identification number, the name of the person to whom reporting and the time the report is logged to keep in the School District’s record.  A personal copy may be retained.  The mandated reporter will immediately inform the Building Principal of such reporting and, also, complete the LDSS-2221-A form and provide the completed and signed form to the Building Principal.  The Building Principal is responsible for ensuring that any follow-up administrative activities as a result of the report are performed, and shall notify the Superintendent of Schools or Acting Superintendent of the report, by telephone and writing.

Within 48 hours of the report, the Building Principal will transmit the completed and signed LDSS-2221-A form to the County Department of Social Services, Office of Child Protective Services and provide notice of the transmittal to the Building Principal.  The report shall also be maintained in the student’s cumulative health record in an envelope marked “Confidential.”

The Superintendent of Schools or designee can request a summary investigative report of any case referred to Child Protective Services.

School personnel may request that individual identifying information be withheld if documenting such information might prove detrimental to the safety or interest of that individual.

In instances when the Building Principal receives information that constitutes reportable child abuse or maltreatment from any non-mandated reporter, he or she shall become responsible to report and follow the process described above for incident reporting and follow-up administrative action.

Only one report per incident is required from the school district.

Suspected Child Abuse, Maltreatment or Neglect
Mandated reporters shall, and other reporters are expected, to report suspected incidents of child abuse, maltreatment or neglect, as described in Regulations that accompany this policy.  It is not the duty or responsibility of mandated or other reporters to conduct an investigation once evidence of suspected child abuse or maltreatment is presented or is apparent.  The district will cooperate, consistent with privacy laws, to the extent possible, with authorized child protective services workers and law enforcement officials in investigations of alleged child abuse.

No Family Contact
School employees and officials will not contact the child's family or any other person to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or maltreatment.  It is not the responsibility of the school official or employee to prove that the child has been abused or maltreated.

Incidents Involving Death

Any school official or employee who has cause to suspect that the death of any child is a result of child abuse or maltreatment must report that fact to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner.

Penalty for Failure to Report
In accordance with the law, any mandated reporter who fails to report an instance of suspected child abuse or maltreatment may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and may be held liable for the damages caused by the failure to report.  The law grants employees and other persons who report instances of child abuse immunity in good faith from any liability that might otherwise be incurred.

School employees will not be subject to retaliatory action as a result of making a report when they reasonably suspect that a child has been abused, mistreated or neglected.

The school district shall conduct on an on-going basis training programs for the identification and reporting of child abuse and mistreatment.  Attendance at sessions of this training program shall be required of all district employees who come in contact with students.  Attendance records shall be kept, and notations will be made in personnel files as to the dates of attendance.

The Superintendent shall develop, with input from appropriate personnel, a plan for implementation of such a training program, to be approved by the Board.  In addition, the policy and regulations will be included in all employee handbooks and distributed annually to all personnel who are not covered under existing handbooks.  The Superintendent will prepare and implement all regulations as are necessary to accomplish the intent of this policy.

School District Relationship with Local Social Services Agencies
The School District will cooperate to the extent possible with authorized child protective service workers in the investigation of alleged child abuse, maltreatment or neglect.  The Superintendent or his/her designee will represent the School District when collaborating with local social services agencies to address instances of abuse, maltreatment or neglect.  In addition, the Superintendent will share a copy of the District’s Student Attendance Policy with the local social services district.

Policy Dissemination
A copy of this policy, along with the administrative regulations explaining the reporting requirements, shall be made available digitally and/or distributed to all members of the professional staff and other employees.

Ref:     Child Protective Services Act of 1973
             Social Services Law §§411 et seq.
             Family Court Act §1012
             Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,
             20 USC §1232g, 45 CFR §99.36
            Education Law §3209-a

Policy Cross References:
4220 - Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting