NOCAC Head Start staff are, by law, mandated child abuse/neglect reporters.
- Confidentiality is expected. Staff at all sites is on a need to know basis.
- All employees must follow proper procedures of reporting child abuse and neglect.
- Failure to follow proper procedures will result in disciplinary action.
- Failure to report could also lead to a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and being held liable for civil damages.
- Step by step procedures to be followed by all staff when suspecting child abuse/neglect.
- Ask (ONLY if necessary) the child what happened using open ended questions. After the child responds, if it is suspicious and you suspect abuse or neglect, you must make a report. Remember not to question the child too much.
- DOCUMENT all information on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. When reporting a concern regarding a child, be sure to have all needed information available including:
- name and address of the child you suspect is being abused or neglected
- date of birth and age of child
- name and address of parent or caretaker
- name of person suspected who is abusing or neglecting the child
- reason for suspicions
- other significant information
- your name, work address, and place of employment (as a mandated reporter, you may not report anonymously).
- CALL Department of Job and Family Services in the county the child resides. Ask if they want a written copy of the report. If they do not, document it on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. Document the name of the caseworker receiving your report.
- CALL the NOCAC Head Start Director regarding the report you filed.
- If the Director is not available contact the NOCAC Executive Director.
- DO NOT leave a voicemail or send an email.
- It is important to remember, staff are not calling for permission to report, instead to inform of a situation with the family.
- INFORM the FSS in your county about the report.
- SEND the completed form to the Family and Community Engagement Manager at the NOCAC Central Office.
- If a NOCAC staff suspects a fellow staff member of child abuse/neglect or witnesses an incident they are required to report to the proper authorities and follow these steps:
- Follow #5 a-d above.
- The Head Start/ECE Director will represent our program in discussions with the child’s family.
- Complete a JFS 01299 “Incident/Injury Report” for the parent to sign.
- The Center Manager or Head Start Director must follow the procedure as written in ODJFS 5101:2-12-16(G). Follow procedure for Incident/Injury Reporting of a Serious Risk.
Forms and Additional Guidance:
This policy complies with the following
|Head Start Program Performance Standard:||1302.47(b)(5)(i)|
|ODJFS Child Care Manual:||5101:2-12-19(D) 5101:2-12-16(G)|
|Caring for Our Children:||3.4.4|
|Other Sources:||Ohio Revised Code, Section 2151.421|
|Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:|
|Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals:|