All staff must be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, know how to respond appropriately, and report suspected cases immediately. Information regarding legal and organizational responsibilities to report should be included in your Youth-Serving Organization’s (YSO) policies and procedures. Training regarding appropriate reporting protocols and procedures should be provided to staff and volunteers on a regular basis.
At minimum, Reporting must include:
All employees and volunteers are aware of their legal and organizational obligations to immediately report suspected abuse. Staff and volunteers must understand their reporting responsibilities under Massachusetts law and the organization’s reporting structure when any concerns or suspicions of child sexual abuse occur. Staff and volunteers understand their legal and organizational responsibilities.
All employees and volunteers are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse. All staff and volunteers at the YSO should be competent on recognizing the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse. They should be able to detect and identify the signs and symptoms and know how to report concerns, suspicions, allegations or disclosures immediately.
All employees and volunteers know how to respond to a child who discloses abuse. Training should include in-depth ways to approach conversations with children who have been sexually abused. Staff and volunteers should have clear knowledge of the way to respond to disclosures of abuse appropriately and in a timely fashion.
All employees and volunteers know how and to whom to report concerns, suspicions, allegations, and disclosures of abuse. All staff and volunteers at your organization should understand each step of the reporting process. The procedure of reporting should be clearly outlined in your policies and procedures.
Written reporting procedures, guidelines, and a clearly defined reporting chain accessible before, during, and after normal operating hours. Staff and volunteers must be able to report suspicions of sexual abuse and neglect whenever they hear about it or see it at any time. They should be informed of whom to report to under different circumstances and times of day.
Staff and volunteers at your YSO should be trained at least annually on their responsibility to report including the signs of sexual abuse as well as the appropriate response to children disclosures of sexual abuse. Leadership should provide guidelines on the protocol for reporting, including who to report to and when to report.
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