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:

  1. 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.
  2. Complete mandated reporter training as required by law within three months of initial employment and at least every three years after that date.
  3. Complete an annual evidence-informed training related to child sexual abuse, grooming behaviors (including sexual misconduct as defined in Faith’s Law), and boundary violations as required by law and policy 5:100, Staff Development Program.  

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.

When the Superintendent has reasonable cause to believe that a license holder (1) committee an intentional act of abuse or neglect with the result of making a child an abused child or a neglected child under ANCRA, or an act of sexual misconduct under Faith’s Law, and (2) that the act resulted in the license holder’s dismissal or resignation from the District, the Superintendent shall notify the State Superintendent and the Regional Superintendent in writing, providing the Ill. Educator Identification Number as well as a brief description of the misconduct alleged.  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.

The Superintendent shall develop procedures for notifying a student’s parents/guardians when a District employee, contractor, or agent is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with the student as defined in Faith’s Law. The Superintendent shall also develop procedures for notifying the student’s parents/guardians when the Board takes action relating to the employment of the employee, contractor, or agent following the investigation of sexual misconduct. Notification shall not occur when the employee, contractor, or agent alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct is the student’s parent/guardian, and/or when the student is at least 18 years of age or emancipated.

The Superintendent shall execute the recordkeeping requirements of Faith’s Law.

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.

When the Board learns that a licensed teacher was convicted of any felony, it must promptly report it to the State agencies listed in policy 2:020 Powers and Duties of the School Board; Indemnification.

Cross Reference: 

2:020 Powers and Duties of the School Board; Indemnification

3:040 Superintendent

3:050 Administrative Personnel Other than the Superintendent

3:060 Administrative Responsibility of the Building Principal

4:165 Awareness and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Grooming Behaviors

5:020 Workplace Harassment Prohibited

5:030 Hiring Process and Criteria

5:100 Staff Development Program

5:120 Employee ethics, Code of Professional Conduct, and Conflict of Interest

5:150 Personnel Records

5:200 Terms and Conditions of Employment and Dismissal

5:290 Employment Terminations and Suspensions

6:120 Education of Children with Disabilities

6:250 Community Resource Persons and Volunteers

7:020 Harassment of Students Prohibited

7:150 Agency and Police Interviews

Legal Reference(s): 

20 U.S.C. §7926, Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

105 ILCS 5/10-21.9 , 5/10-23.13, 5/21B-85, 5/22-85.5, and 5/22-85.10.

20 ILCS 1305/1-1 et seq. Department of Human Services Act

325 ILCS 5/. Abused and Neglected Child Reporting

720 ILCS 5/12C-50.1(b)   Criminal Code of 2012

Date Adopted:   April 22, 2011

Date Amended:  January 23, 2018

Date Amended:  January 21, 2020

Date Amended:  January 25, 2022

Date Amended:  June 20, 2023