All persons who are mandated reporters are required, by law, to report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. It is not the job of the mandated reporter to determine whether the allegations are valid. If child abuse or neglect is reasonably suspected or if a pupil shares information with a mandated reporter leading him/her to believe abuse or neglect has taken place, the report must be made. No supervisor or administrator can impede or inhibit a report or subject the reporting person to any sanction.
To make a report, an employee must contact an appropriate local law enforcement or county child welfare agency, listed below. This legal obligation is not satisfied by making a report of the incident to a supervisor or to the school. An appropriate law enforcement agency may be one of the following:
A Police or Sheriff Department
A County Probation Department, if designated by the county to receive child abuse reports
A County Welfare Department/County Child Protective Service
A report may also be filed at the same time with your school district or county office of education (COE). School districts and COEs, however, do not investigate child abuse allegations, nor do they attempt to contact the person suspected of child abuse or neglect
Lucerne Elementary School District has additional policies adopted at the local level relating to the duties of mandated reporters. School staff should consult with the district to determine if there are additional steps that must be taken.
These policies do not take the place of reporting to an appropriate local law enforcement or county child welfare agency
Community members have an important role in protecting children from abuse and neglect. While not mandated by law to do so, if child abuse or neglect is suspected, a report should be filed with qualified and experienced agencies that will investigate the situation. Parents and guardians of pupils have the right to file a complaint against anyone they suspect has engaged in abuse or neglect of a child. Community members do not need to provide their name when making a report of child abuse or neglect.
School volunteers, while not mandated reporters, should also be encouraged to report any suspected cases of abuse and neglect. Additionally, school volunteers are highly encouraged by the law to have training in the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The training offered online to mandated reporters, is equally available to school volunteers.