According to the Child Maltreatment 2008 Book, nationally approximately 2 million reports were screened as needing an investigation or an assessment. In 2010, 35,853 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect were responded to by Virginia Protective Services agencies. This training module is designed to help you, as a teacher, address the problem of child maltreatment by learning how to recognize possible abuse/neglect, report it to the appropriate agency, and provide support to children who may have been victimized.
In this introduction you will learn about:
- Background information on child abuse and neglect
- The role Child Protective Services and teachers play in ensuring the safety, permanence, and well-being of Virginia's children
- The learning objectives for this training module
The Role of Child Protective Services
Virginia gives the local departments of social services the legal authority and responsibility to receive and respond to reports of child abuse and neglect. The local departments also provide appropriate services for children and families. Child Protective Services is just one program area within the Department of Social Services. It is the most common route through which children enter the child welfare system. The goal of Child Protective Services is to strengthen and support families in preventing the (re)occurence of child abuse or neglect through community-based services.
The Role of Teachers
Teachers in Virginia are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect. This legal requirement includes teachers in a group of professionals referred to as mandated reporters.
Teachers have daily contact with their students and are in a key position to recognize indicators of child maltreatment. As a teacher, you will most likely be the first professional to notice that one of your students might be abused or neglected. If so, your report will most likely be the action that can make a difference.
(click here for video script)
Runtime: 44 seconds
After completing this course of study, teachers should know:
- The legal basis for child abuse and neglect services and reporting (covered in Topic 1)
- How to define the five types of child abuse and neglect recognized in Virginia (covered in Topic 1)
- Operational definitions and indicators of child abuse and neglect (covered in Topic 1)
- How to differentiate corporal punishment and accidental injury from abuse (covered in Topic 1)
- How to differentiate poverty from neglect (covered in Topic 1)
- Special issues related to abuse and neglect of children with disabilities (covered in Topic 1)
- How children directly and indirectly disclose maltreatment (covered in Topic 2)
- How to respond to a child's disclosure of maltreatment (covered in Topic 2)
- When a report of child maltreatment is warranted (covered in Topic 2)
- How to report suspected child maltreatment (covered in Topic 2)
- How Child Protective Services typically responds to a report (covered in Topic 3)
- What information to expect from Child Protective Services after a report (covered in Topic 3)
- How to interact with the child's family after a report has been made (covered in Topic 3)
- How to build and support resiliency in a child who has been maltreated (covered in Topic 3)
- How to support collaborative interdisciplinary services to a child and his or her family when abuse or neglect is an issue (covered in Topic 3)