Abuse Reporting Policy
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.
How To Report
If a child is in immediate danger, call police (911 or local police) to intervene and a child protection social worker should be contacted to determine whether the child is in need of protection.
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.
Teachers and staff who have made a call to either MCFD or 911 must report to the Academic Head of School.
What To Report
When making a report to a child welfare worker, it is helpful to include personal information, like one's name, phone number and 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 child 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.
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 staff member needs to read and become familiar with the Reporting Abuse Policy and will review this policy annually.
Each teacher and staff member should read and become familiar with, The Handbook for Action on Child Abuse and Neglect For Service Providers (PDF). Learn more in Responding to Child Welfare Concerns(PDF).