5:090 Abused and Neglected Child Reporting
Abused and Neglected Child Reporting
Any District employee who suspects or receives knowledge that a student may be an abused or neglected child or, for a student aged 18 through 21, an abused or neglected individual with a disability, shall: (1) immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Ill. Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on its Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)(within Illinois); 1-217-524-2606 (outside of Illinois); or 1-800-358-5117 (TTY), and (2) follow directions given by DCFS concerning filing a written report within 48 hours with the nearest DCFS field office. Any District employee who believes a student is in immediate danger of harm, shall first call 911. The employee shall also promptly notify the Superintendent or Building Principal that a report has been made. The Superintendent or Building Principal shall immediately coordinate any necessary notifications to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) with DCFS, the applicable school resource officer (SRO), and/or local law enforcement. Negligent failure to report occurs when a District employee personally observes an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect and reasonably believes, in his or her professional or official capacity, that the instance constitutes an act of child abuse or neglect under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) and he or she, without willful intent, fails to immediately report or cause a report to be made of the suspected abuse or neglect to DCFS.
Any District employee who discovers child pornography on electronic and information technology equipment shall immediately report it to local law enforcement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or online at www.report.cybertip.org or www.missingkids.org. The Superintendent or Building Principal shall also be promptly notified of the discovery and that a report has been made.
Any District employee who observes any act of hazing that does bodily harm to a student must report that act to the Building Principal, Superintendent, or designee who will investigate and take appropriate action. If the hazing results in death or great bodily harm, the employee must first make the report to law enforcement and then to the Superintendent or Building Principal. Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act directed to or required of a student for the purpose of being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any group, organization, club, or athletic team whose members are or include other students.
Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA), School Code, and Erin’s Law Training
The Superintendent or designee shall provide staff development opportunities for District employees in the detection, reporting, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
All District employees shall:
- Before beginning employment, sign the Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form provided by DCFS. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the signed forms are retained.
- Complete mandated reporter training as required by law within three months of initial employment and at least every three years after that date.
The Superintendent will encourage all District educators to complete continuing professional development that addresses the traits and identifiers that may be evident in students who are victims of child sexual abuse, including recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse and providing appropriate follow-up and care for abused students as they return to the classroom setting.
Alleged Incidents of Sexual Abuse; Investigations
An alleged incident of sexual abuse is an incident of sexual abuse of a child, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1A, that is alleged to have been perpetrated by school personnel, including a school vendor or volunteer, that occurred: on school grounds during a school activity; or outside of school grounds or not during a school activity.
If a District employee reports an alleged incident of sexual abuse to DCFS and DCFS accepts the report for investigation, DCFS will refer the matter to the local Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). The Superintendent or designee will implement procedures to coordinate with the CAC.
DCFS and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency will inform the District when its investigation is complete or has been suspended, as well as the outcome of its investigation. The existence of a DCFS and/or law enforcement investigation will not preclude the District from conducting its own parallel investigation into the alleged incident of sexual abuse in accordance with policy 7:020, Harassment of Students Prohibited.
Special Superintendent Responsibilities
The Superintendent shall execute the requirements in Board policy 5:150, Personnel Records, whenever another school district requests a reference concerning an applicant who is or was a District employee and was the subject of a report made by a District employee to DCFS.
The Superintendent shall notify the State Superintendent and the Regional Superintendent in writing when he or she has reasonable cause to believe that a license holder was dismissed or resigned from the District as a result of an act that made a child an abused or neglected child. The Superintendent must make the report within 30 days of the dismissal or resignation and mail a copy of the notification to the license holder.
Special School Board Member Responsibilities
Each individual Board member must, if an allegation is raised to the member during an open or closed Board meeting that a student is an abused child as defined in ANCRA, direct or cause the Board to direct the Superintendent or other equivalent school administrator to comply with ANCRA’s requirements concerning the reporting of child abuse.
If the Board determines that any District employee, other than an employee licensed under 105 ILCS 5/21B, has willfully or negligently failed to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect as required by ANCRA, the Board may dismiss that employee immediately.
20 ILCS 1305/1-1 et seq. Department of Human Services Act
325 ILCS 5/. Abused and Neglected Child Reporting
Date Adopted: April 22, 2011
Date Amended: January 23, 2018
Date Amended: January 21, 2020