Abuse Reporting Policy

Statement of Purpose

The safety and wellbeing of students that attend HCOS is paramount. It is the responsibility of teaching and support staff to report to the Ministry of Children and Family Development as well as the Academic Head of School if they discover or suspect that a student may be neglected or abused either sexually, physically or emotionally.

Please refer to the Student At Risk Team for guidelines on how to follow up with school supports.  HCOS is committed to working together with Ministry of Children and Family Development or Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Agencies and Police for the safety of all children enrolled at HCOS.

Guiding Principles

Every teacher or service provider with HCOS has a duty to report abuse or neglect or suspected abuse or neglect. Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected has a legal duty under the Child, Family and Community Service Act to report the matter.

If a staff members thinks a child or youth under 19 years of age is being abused or neglected, they have the legal duty to report their concern to a child welfare worker. Phone 1-800-663-9122 at any time of the day or night.

If a child is in immediate danger, call police (call 911 or your local police) to intervene and a child protection social worker should be contacted to determine whether the child is in need of protection. Report this instance to the student at risk team (SRT).

Duty to Report Abuse or Suspected Abuse

The Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) requires that anyone who has reason to believe that a child or youth has been or is likely to be abused or neglected, and that the parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child or youth, must report the suspected abuse or neglect to a child welfare worker.

If You are a Community Service Provider

As a Service Provider, you have a key role to play in helping to keep children and youth safe.

How To Report

To make a report, please call 1-800-663-9122 any time of the day or night. The person who answers will make sure your concerns are directed to the right place.

What To Report

When making a report to a child welfare worker, it is helpful to include personal information, like your name, your phone number and your relationship to the child or youth. An anonymous call can also be placed if preferred. The child welfare worker will want to know:

  • The child’s or youth’s name and location;
  • Whether there are any immediate concerns about the child’s or youth’s safety;
  • Why you believe the child or youth is at risk;
  • Any statements or disclosures made by the child or youth;
  • The child’s or youth’s age and vulnerability;
  • Information about the family, parents and alleged offender;
  • Information about siblings or other children or youth who may be at risk;
  • Whether you know of any previous incidents involving, or concerns about the child or youth;
  • Information about other persons or agencies closely involved with the child, youth and/or family;
  • Information about other persons who may be witnesses or may have information about the child or youth;
  • Information about the nature of the child’s or youth’s disabilities, his or her mode of communication, and the name of a key support person; and
  • Any other relevant information concerning the child, youth and/or family, such as language or culture.

Not all of this information is needed to make a report, just let the welfare worker know all the information that is known at this time. Remember that time is of the essence in responding, so if there is any concern, do not delay.

After A Report

Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect are assessed on a case by case basis and, depending on the circumstances, will warrant different types of responses. Child welfare workers choose the response that is least disruptive to the child or youth, and will keep the child or youth safe.

If the level of concern is high enough to involved MCFD teachers should also ensure that a Student at Risk Team form has been filled out so that school leadership can provide adequate and ongoing support for the situation. If the teacher would rather only inform the Academic Head of School, that is an option within the form.

After the assessment process is complete, if the child or youth is not at immediate risk of harm, the child welfare worker may:

  • Offer the family support services;
  • Refer the child, youth and/or family to a community agency; or
  • Take no further action, if no further action is needed.
Training and Review

Each HCOS teacher and support worker needs to read and become familiar with the Reporting Abuse Policy and will review this policy annually.

Each teacher and support worker should read and become familiar with, The Handbook for Action on Child Abuse and Neglect For Service Providers (PDF).