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325

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background

Because of the trust relationships cultivated between teachers and students, school personnel often become aware of suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.  The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act requires “any person who has reasonable or probable grounds to believe that a child is in need of protective services” to report forthwith the matter to appropriate authorities.

All school personnel are to report all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect as specified in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

Procedures

  1. A child is in need of protective services if there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the survival, security or development of the child is endangered because of any of the following:
    1. The child has been abandoned or lost;
    2. The guardian of the child is dead and the child has no other guardian;
    3. The guardian of the child is unable or unwilling to provide the child with necessities of life, including failing to obtain for the child or to permit the child to receive essential medical, surgical or other remedial treatment that has been recommended by a physician;
    4. The child has been, or there is substantial risk that the child will be, physically injured or sexually abused by the guardian of the child;
    5. The guardian of the child is unable or unwilling to protect the child from physical injury or sexual abuse;
    6. The child has been emotionally injured by the guardian of the child;
    7. The guardian of the child is unable or unwilling to protect the child from emotional injury;
    8. The guardian of the child has subjected the child to or is unable or unwilling to protect the child from cruel and unusual treatment or punishment;
    9. The condition or behavior of the child prevents the guardian of the child from providing the child with adequate care appropriate to meet the child’s needs.
  2. When a staff member suspects that a child has been abused, the staff member is to make written note of the reasons for concern and any relevant statements made by the child.
  3. The staff member in consultation with the School Principal is to contact Alberta Child and Family Services.  A written note is to be made at this time of:
    1. The name of the person making the call.
    2. The name of the intake social worker receiving the call.
    3. The time and date the call was made.
    4. The action proposed by Alberta Child and Family Services.
  4. No investigation is to be carried out by school personnel at this or any other time.
  5. The Principal or designate is to follow up on the case by contacting Alberta Child and Family Services to obtain relevant information on the disposition of the case.
  6. At the end of the investigation and disposition of the case the staff member, counselor and Principal are to meet to discuss the steps they could take to assist the abused child.

References:

Sections 18, 20, 45, 60, 61, 113 School Act

Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Practice Review of Teachers Regulation 4/99

Student Record Regulation 225/2006

Responding to Child Abuse – A Handbook (October 2005)

Student Record Regulation Information Bulletin 3.2.7

Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent

 

Revised August 2014