A Seminar for Camp Courage VolunteersMarch 18, 2013
Mandated Reporting Social Media Policy at Camp Courage Fighting Child Abuse Camp Courage Policy for Reporting Penalties for Failing to Report Child Abuse
In the USA, five children die of child abuse every day Animal cruelty laws predate child abuse laws
Encourage complete reporting Involve law enforcement Establish Child Protective Services in each county Protect abused children from further abuse Provide rehabilitation Preserve & Stabilize families Assess risk and provide services
§ 42.42. Suspected child abuse—mandated reporting requirements. (a) General rule. Under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse), licensees who, in the course of the employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Public Welfare when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse. (b) Staff members of public or private agencies, institutions and facilities. Licensees who are staff members of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, and who, in the course of their employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse. Upon notification by the licensee, the person in charge or the designated agent shall assume the responsibility and have the legal obligation to report or cause a report to be made in accordance with subsections (a), (c) and (d). (c) Reporting procedure. Reports of suspected child abuse shall be made by telephone and by written report. (1) Oral reports. Oral reports of suspected child abuse shall be made immediately by telephone to ChildLine, (800) 932-0313. (2) Written reports. Written reports shall be made within 48 hours after the oral report is made by telephone. Written reports shall be made on forms available from a county children and youth social service agency. (d) Written reports. Written reports shall be made in the manner and on forms prescribed by the Department of Public Welfare. http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/049/chapter42/s42.42.html
Report suspected abuse immediately to the camp director Contact Columbia County Children & Youth Services & PA ChildLine Contact Camp Victory’s Executive Director Complete necessary forms
Dial 911 Immediately Intervene if possible Get help
Drastic change in behavior Withdrawn & Antisocial Excessive Fear NOTE: These are also signs Sleep Disturbances of grief in children. Bed Wetting Eating Disorders Change in school performance Risk Taking Behaviors
Serious Physical Injury Serious Physical Neglect Serious Mental Injury Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Imminent Risk
Bruises Welts Burns Multiple injuries in various stages of healing Extra, unusual layers of clothing
Inadequate weight gain or growth Developmental delays Persistent hunger Lack of hygiene – soiled clothing Lack of supervision Untreated physical problems Deprivation of necessities
Constant belittling Name calling Bullying Rejection Limiting proper physical contact Exposing a child to abuse and violence Requires Professional Diagnosis
Disruptive behavior Bullying Inappropriate language Believes aberrant behavior is normal Describes what you recognize to be an abusive home environment when questioned Hateful May speak of suicide
Injury to the genitalia Pain when using the Difficulty sitting or restroom standing Bed wetting Suspicious stains on thumb sucking clothing of skin Loss of bowel control Resistance to remove Difficulty swallowing clothing when Signs of STD’s appropriate Sleep disturbances Bladder or urinary tract Age inappropriate sexual infections knowledge Unusual sexual behavior
Disruptive behavior Bullying Cursing Racist / Ethnic Slurs Child believes this to be normal behavior Reports unrecognized abuse Speaks of suicide
The child is the intended target of a shooting The child is in the care of a known sex offender The child is unattended in an automobile
Suspicious? Seek Help & AdviceFollow UpUnexplained InjuriesChild is DefensiveA Few Words Can Speak VolumesAdmits / Alleges Abuse
Most likely someone the child knows 59% of abusers are parents, more often moms Often drug abusers and/or mentally ill Isolated or very young parents / several kids Abused as a child Non-related temporary care givers Don’t ignore suspicions
Interest in a particular child, often female Purchase expensive gifts Invitations for ‘sleep-overs’ Repeated offers to babysit “just because” Imposed, unwanted physical contact
Provide what parents won’t allow Insist on secrecy Threats
Reporting abuse gives victims a voice Fear keeps children vulnerable Shame keeps children vulnerable Abuse leads children to mistrust adults Some kids don’t know any other way Fear keeps children vulnerable
SSABER Make a Difference in a Child’s Life Stay Calm Support Affirm Believe Empower REPORT
SSABER “At that moment, truth begins.” Stay Calm Support “Thank you for telling me.” Affirm “I believe you.” Believe “You have done nothing Empower wrong.” “I will get help for you.” REPORT
Stay Calm. Listen.Keep the Child With You. Get Help.
Try to remain in no less than groups of three To protect the child To protect the buddies A group of four is safer
Don’t be silent – Say Something! You don’t need to be perfect Ask basic questions of the child: What happened? Where did it happen? When did it happen? Who did it? Were other kids hurt too? Are there witnesses?
2011 In Pennsylvania Alone 78%of all substantiated reports of abuse came from People Like You
Call ChildLine Anytime – 24/7 1-800-932-0313 Remember:800 WEB-zero-DoAFavor Remember:800 932 - - - 0 3 1 3 (Not perfect, but maybe it will help)
Inform camp director immediately If the child is in immediate danger, CALL 911 Call ChildLine Complete forms within 48 Hours Notify Camp Victory Follow through!
Ask basic questions of the child: Child’s name, address, etc. What happened? Where did it happen? When did it happen? Who did it? Were other kids hurt too? Are there witnesses?
YourPersonal Information Will Remain Confidential
The Child’s Welfare Supersedes the Family’s Right to Privacy
Question &Answer“What if one of ANSWER:our Big Buddies isa Pastor or a Yes. If a Pastor or Lawyer, inLawyer?” their capacity as a Big BuddyMay they still at Camp Courage, learns of anmake a report if a abused child, they are in thechild admitsabuse to them in role of a Mandated Reporterconfidence? and must report what they’ve learned.
As a Big Buddy, you must report the abuse A child abuse report will have consequences for the child and her/his family, but it MUST be made in the interest of the long term welfare of the child GET INVOLVED – it’s a moral and legal responsibility You are protected if you make the report and could be committing a crime by not reporting
Incidents discovered at Camp Courage are “very, very low” Much of the required information for reporting is already on file with Camp Courage If there is a concern, ask the basic questions and get help More information will be available at each camp experience
Be a role model, let someone know if you need another person with you Create a boundary, youre not a best friend, or a surrogate parent – you’re a temporary guardian It’s a short term relationship for the kids (and you), make it clear that there will be no contact after camp Ryan will capture the memories in photos for the kids
If you encourage too close an attachment with a camper you may cause deeper grief after camp YOU MAY NOT CONTINUE A RELATIONSHIP WITH A CAMPER AFTER CAMP Be very careful if the child asks ‘difficult’ questions, be honest – seek help if you need
Report concerns of ANY sort to the camp director or counselor, for example: Camper may be self-harming (cutting) Substance abuse/use during camp – campers or their families while on camp property A camper intentionally tries to harm another person – safety is a primary concern Inappropriate language – threats, suicidal thoughts, bullying, etc.
DON’T take personal pictures with your camera or cell phone AVOID social network dissemination of information via social media regarding Camp Courage AVOID using your personal electronic devices
Presenters: Melina Gittler & Sabrina LyonsRecording: Ryan CraigSlides and Editing: J. E. Pesta