As childcare providers, we are "mandated reporter" of suspected child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is the non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a person responsible for the child's health, welfare, or care, or by a person given access to the child by the responsible person. Forms of abuse include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Neglect is failing to provide for a child's basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, education, medical care and supervision).
If child abuse or neglect is suspected, the DCF CARELINE will be called at 1-800-842-2288. In general, the parents will be informed that we have observed a problem and are mandated by law to report these observations to DCF. The staff will continue to document observations throughout the DCF investigation and the child's enrollment in the program. The staff will support any appropriate measures to keep the child safe and secure in the program.
Any allegations of abuse or neglect at Center Preschool will be reported to DCF and the childcare director will initiate an internal investigation. She will inform the Minister of the allegations. If a staff person is named in the abuse allegation, that person will be removed from working with that child during the time of the investigation. Each staff member who may have knowledge of the situation will be interviewed to assist in the investeigation by DCF, and the preschool may ask for police assistance. An employee who is found to have abused a child will be terminated. All information relating to a case will be kept confidential.Staff training on abuse and neglect prevention and awareness will be offered annually.