School Social Work Chicago International Charter School 2011-12 Academic Year Katie Weiss, LCSW
What is School Social Work at IP?
Provides mandated social work minutes per IEP’s
Facilitates classroom social emotional development
Will be reinforcing the Second Step Curriculum School Wide
Guides gender, social skill and emotional groups no larger than 8 students on a consistent schedule based on need and referrals
Oversees all mandated reporting
Homeless Education Program Liason
Who are they?
Mandated reporters are professional who may work with children in the course of their professional duties. All school personnel are considered mandated reporters.
Mandated reporters are REQUIRED to report suspected child maltreatment immediately if they have “ reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused or neglected child”
This is done by calling the DCFS Hotline at 1.800.252.2873 or 1.800.25ABUSE and completing form found in the social work office.
As professionals that work with children it is best practice to call as soon as possible. Ideally, the reporter with the most direct knowledge should make the call.
The primary goal is to protect the child and whenever possible, to stabilize and preserve the family so that it remains intact.
What is considered abuse?
Physical Abuse – infliction of injury to child that means other than accidental that cause physical impairment or undue emotional duress. Common indicators include bruises, human bites, bone fractures and burns.
Reminder – it is not illegal to hit your child, it is illegal to hit to the point that there is a level of impairment, physically or emotionally. Also, take in to consideration SES and cultural practices.
Sexual Abuse – occurs when a person responsible for the child’s welfare commits any of the following acts:
Sexual Exploitation – pornography
Sexual Molestation – touched by an adult or forcibly having a child touch an adult.
Neglect occurs when a person responsible for the child deprives or fails to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter or needed medical treatment. Neglect is also alleged when an adult provides inadequate supervision of child.
Cultural factors make neglect challenging due to distinguishing between inappropriate/undesirable parenting and those acts which are considered abuse or neglect.
When in doubt, it is best practice to call the hotline.
Educational neglect is no longer recognized as neglect of a child
Law in Illinois of when DCFS can investigate and intervene
Victim must be under the age of 18
Alleged perpetrator must be a person that is responsible for the welfare of the child
There must be a specific incident of abuse and neglect or a specific set of circumstances involving suspicion
There must be either demonstrated harm or substantial risk of physical or sexual injury to the child
Key terms to know
Report - if the hotline worker concludes that the allegation is one the Department is legally empowered to investigate and there will be sufficient information to warrant an investigation, a report will be taken.
Indicated – Cases are called indicated when an investigation has been determined that credible evidence of the alleged abuse or neglect can be documented.
Unfounded - cases are called unfounded when an investigation has determined that credible evidence of the alleged abuse or neglect cannot be documented. All unfounded reports regarding sexual or serious physical abuse are kept in the system for 3 years; the remainder of cases one year.
A person can request a review of an unfounded report within 10 days of notification if a reporter has concerns about adequacy of investigation.
Time Line for Reports
Reports must be called to DCFS as soon as abuse or neglect has been reported
Reports must be confirmed in writing to the local investigation unit within 48 hours of the hotline call. Forms are found in the social work office, or the DCFS web site.
Conclusion of Mandated Reporting
Please complete Mandated Reporter form and return to me
Wait, there’s more…….
Transitional Living Program
CPS mission statement: Every CPS student shall have equal access to the same free and appropriate educational opportunities as students who are not homeless.
General Categories of TLS
Doubled-up with families
Living on the street
Awaiting foster placement
Lack of adequate alternative accommodations (cars and hotels)
Legal Rights of TLS Students
Choice of school
Notice of rights
Support Services offered by TLS
Choice of Schools
Children/Youth enroll in:
School last attended/school of origin
School attended when they became homeless
Advise family of rights
Encourage enrollment in school of origin
Arrange for transportation, if needed
Inform parent/guardian of fee waiver policy
Rights of TLS Students
Must be distributed to ALL FAMILIES at the beginning of each semester
School must gather emergency forms and update IMPACT twice a year
IMMEDIATE enrollment, regardless of medical records or residency papers.