The Department of Child Services wants the legislature to help improve the process of reporting child abuse and neglect to the agency.
The recommendation comes as part of the agency’s 2017 legislative proposals.
Department of Child Services legislative director Parvonay Stover says state law requires anyone to report potential child abuse and neglect without delay. And she says the agency wants state law to help ensure that when it comes to schools’ internal policies.
“That means employees should not be talking to the guidance counselor first before they make that call to DCS. Or they should not be talking to the principal first,” Stover says. “Or they should not be discussing the issue with other teachers to figure out, should we report or should we not report? Does this rise to the level of reporting or not rise to the level? Everything rises to the level of reporting.”
Stover says DCS also wants mandatory child abuse and neglect training for all school employees.
Other DCS legislative initiatives include a clarification to the state’s Safe Haven law. It would require people to give newborns to a person, rather than leave a baby on a doorstep or in so-called “baby boxes.”