Child Abuse and Prevention Policy

Child care workers are in a unique position to recognize victimized children. Because of this, we are legally mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Annually, all staff members review the guidelines for recognizing child abuse.

Child Care employees must fully understand their legal obligation to report suspicions of child abuse, and review the guidelines upon hire and every year of employment. The training will also cover how to respond if a child discloses. It may seem easier not to get involved and believe that someone else will eventually make the report. This "wait and see" approach can be very dangerous, even deadly, for a child who is being mistreated.

If you suspect abuse or neglect, notify the director immediately. The incident will be documented immediately and the director will support you while you report. Do not discuss your concerns with anyone but the director. If the director is not available, make the report directly to the Department of Health and Welfare, and notify the director by phone, text or email that you have done so.

All staff and volunteers are mandated by law to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Abuse may be physical, emotional, or sexual. Neglect is the failure, refusal, or inability, for reasons other than poverty, to provide necessary care, food, clothing, shelter or medical care. Staff and volunteers who report in good faith are immune from civil or criminal liability. Staff or volunteers who intentionally fail to report suspicion are subject to fines or imprisonment under the law.

To prevent child abuse and neglect, this program:

  1. *Trains staff to avoid one-staff-one-child situations if at all possible. If scheduling requires one adult be alone with one child, the parent is always informed at pick-up or drop off.
  2. *Design our classrooms to avoid hidden and secluded areas.
  3. *Makes sure interactions between children and staff can be observed and interrupted.
  4. *Uses proper names for body parts.
  5. *Never forces children to give affection.
  6. *Tells children that if they have questions about someone's behavior, the best thing they can do is ask about it
  7. *Explains that secrets can be harmful.
  8. Trains staff in the Strengthening Families Protective Factor Framework and Stewards of Children Darkness to Light.
  9. Requires a background check for all staff.
  10. Develops positive, non-judgmental relationships with parents.
  11. Is alert to signs of stress in parents and struggles in the parent-child interaction.
  12. Communicates regularly with parents concerning a child's progress.
  13. Provides education including offering tips for specific challenges.
  14. Provides opportunities for parents to become involved in their child's care.
  15. Provides information about community resources.
  16. Models developmentally appropriate practices by allowing the parent observational opportunities to see their child interact with child care staff.
  17. Provides an atmosphere for parents to share their experiences and develop support systems.
  18. Reaches out to fathers, grandparents and other extended family members that are involved in a child's development.

A report of child abuse is not an accusation. It is a request for more information by a reporter who has reasonable suspicion that abuse or neglect may be occurring. A report does not mean that our employees must determine that abuse and/or neglect has occurred. In Idaho, Child Protective Services is responsible for that determination.

* These strategies are part of our sexual abuse prevention plan.