It can be difficult for a childcare professional to see a young child
hurt or abused by an adult or
someone they know and love.
You may experience a time when a suspected case of abuse or neglect will need to be documented
and reported. Although this may be difficult to do, it is essential in order to protect a child in your care.
Below are some questions and answers that may help you as a childcare professional when it comes to handling suspected child abuse cases.
Question: What can I do to help a child that has been abused?
Answer: As a child care provider, it is your responsibility to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all of the children in your care. Children who have experienced abuse are no different in their need for this type of environment. Maintaining a program where children are safe, nurtured, and supported by trusting adults will help children who have been victims of abuse a great deal.
In addition to maintaining these standards in your program you should be well aware of mandated reporting laws and procedures as were covered in this course. As a mandated reporter, it is your responsibility to report abuse, but not to attempt to investigate the claims. When working with children who were victims of abuse it is important to keep this in mind as well.
Question: Do I need to take further action if it has been determined that abuse has occurred and how do we keep the child from being moved from foster home to foster home?
Answer: As a licensed child care provider, or a staff member of a child care program, it is not your responsibility to take any further action other than to report the suspected abuse and to document.
If CPS determines that there is sufficient reason to investigate the reported abuse, or if the abuse is determined to have occurred, then CPS is in charge of determining what happens next. You should follow whatever instructions you are given by CPS or DEL regarding the matter. Once the child becomes a ward of the state, and enters foster care, unfortunately you cannot control them being moved between foster homes.
Question: What do I do if I have been reported for suspected child abuse in the center where I work?
Answer: Here is more detailed information straight from Washington State DSHS:
Please consult your director or licensor for more information if you are unsure.
For more information on Child Abuse and Mandated Reporting in WA State,
register for our two hour course:
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