Make Sure Your Mandatory Reporting Policies And Trainings Are Up To Date

School PolicyNow that summer is half-way over, it’s time to make sure that your district is on track to be compliant at the start of the new school year with up-to-date policies on mandated reporting and by ensuring that you have planned for the required training on mandatory reporting and on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention.

What Training Is Required On Mandatory Reporting?

At a minimum, all District employees who are mandated reporters must complete a training program pertaining to the accurate and prompt reporting of abuse and neglect upon hire. They then must complete a refresher course at least once every three years.  The District should keep accurate records of training provided and who attended.  The principal of each school within the district is required to “annually certify to the superintendent for the board of education that each school employee … working at such school, is in compliance” with the training requirements.  The Superintendent is then required to certify to the State Board of Education that all employees in the district are in compliance with the training requirements.  Compliant training can be accessed off of DCF’s website at the following link:

https://www.proprofs.com/training/course/?title=connecticut-mandated-reporter-training-school-employees_2

Districts are also required to post in a conspicuous location frequented by students in each school the telephone number for the Careline operated by DCF as well as the Internet website address that provides information about the Careline. The posting is required to be in various languages that are most appropriate for the students enrolled at each school.

Is Your Mandatory Reporting Policy Up To Date

Pursuant to C.G.S. §17a-101i(f) the mandatory reporting policy “shall be distributed annually to all school employees employed by the local or regional board of education.” The Board also is required to document that all school employees have received the written policy.  You might also give thought to broadening your policy beyond mandated reporters to address how non-mandated reporters are required to handle information they might receive on possible abuse or neglect.

DCF has developed a model policy that can be accessed at the following link:

http://www.ct.gov/dcf/cwp/view.asp?a=3483&Q=499860

State-Wide Sexual Abuse And Assault Awareness And Prevention Program

School districts were required to implement a sexual assault awareness and prevention program by October 2016. This requires not only the curriculum component of the program, but also requires districts to provide training regarding the prevention and identification of, and response to, child sexual abuse and assault.  C.G.S. §17a-101q(a)(1).  Districts also are required to provide resources to further student, teacher and parental awareness regarding child sexual abuse and assault and prevention of such abuse and assault.

The link to the State’s Program Guidance can be accessed here:

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/publications/health/statewide_k12_sexual_assault_and_abuse_prevention_and_awareness_program_guidelines.pdf

Now is the perfect time to ensure that you have updated your policies and planned for the required training that must take place at the start of the upcoming school year.