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AP 323: Reporting Child Abuse, Neglect, or Endangerment


Division personnel have an ethical and legal responsibility to act quickly when they have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the survival, security or development of a child is endangered. 

The Division is committed to working cooperatively with professionals and community organizations to enhance child abuse reporting and investigation. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act emphasizes that intervention services are to be provided in a manner that supports the child who discloses abuse and the need to remove the child from an unsafe situation. 

Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been, or there is substantial risk that they will be abused or neglected by an adult, has a legal duty under the Child,  Youth and Family Enhancement Act to promptly report the matter to the local Child Services Authority. 


Disclosure: a child telling someone about an abuse. The disclosure might be direct or indirect. Children commonly delay telling another person about abuse so a child’s disclosure must be taken seriously. 

Emotional Abuse: the impairment of a child’s mental or emotional functioning or development and there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the emotional injury is the result of:

  • Rejection;
  • Deprivation of affection and/or cognitive stimulation;
  • Exposure to domestic violence or severe domestic disharmony;
  • Inappropriate criticism, threats, humiliation, accusations or expectations;
  • The mental or emotional condition of the guardian of the child or of anyone living in the same residence as the child;
  • Chronic alcohol or drug abuse by anyone living in the child’s home.

Physical Abuse: an intentional, substantial and observable injury to a child

Sexual Abuse: inappropriate exposure or subjection to sexual contact, activity or behavior, including prostitution-related activities. Exposing children to child pornography or luring children through the internet are forms of sexual abuse. 

Neglect: if a parent or guardian is unable or unwilling to:

  • Provide the child with the necessities of life;
  • To obtain for the child, or to permit the child to receive, essential medical, surgical or other remedial treatment that is necessary for the health or well-being of the child; or
  • To provide the child with adequate care or supervision.


  1. All matters relative to children/students in need of intervention services shall be held to the strictest degree of confidentiality.
  2. The principal must ensure all school staff are aware of the obligations and review procedures to follow when a student discloses any form of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, witnesses family violence or is involved in prostitution or related activities.
  3. Duty to Report
    1. If a staff member believes there are reasonable and probable grounds to suspect a child/student is being abused or neglected, if the child/student discloses such or if there are reasonable ground to suspect the child/student is at risk of either abuse of neglect, the staff member is required, by law, to make a formal report to Children Services.
    2. The duty of a staff member to report is not discharged until the staff member reports to a Children Services worker.
    3. The duty to report overrides any right of confidentiality or privilege a person may claim.
    4. It is not up to the staff member to determine whether their observations or student statements are sufficient evidence for an investigation or assessment. If in doubt, the staff member shall call to ask for advice from a Children Services worker.
    5. The staff member shall advise the principal regarding any formal report that is made. This is to be shared for information only. The staff member cannot delegate the duty to report to the principal and no principal shall counsel a staff member not to report if the staff member believes there are reasonable grounds to believe abuse or neglect exist.
  4. How to Report
    1. Contact the appropriate Children Services office.
    2. Do not call the student’s parent or guardian. The responsibility for notifying a student’s parent or guardian about an investigation is that of the investigator. School personnel shall not assume this responsibility. In the event a student’s return home from school is delayed because of an investigation, and the parents call the principal, the principal will provide the parent with the investigator’s name and telephone number.
    3. Do not make any promises of confidentiality to the student. Indicate you are required by law to report the disclosure.
    4. Staff are expected to offer support, but must refrain from seeking further information to confirm suspicion or clarify disclosure. Do not probe for details. Listen to the information provided and document what was reported, as soon as possible in the student’s own words.
    5. Include observed facts, such as the student’s behavior, actions, comments and physical evidence, if observed.
    6. Record the date and time of the call and the name and position of the case worker who accepts the report. This record and additional notes or documentation are to be stored in a confidential file and stored securely, separate from the student record.
    7. Any reports relative to a student in need of intervention services may be subject to disclosure under the terms of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  5. Responsibility for Assessments/Investigations
    1. The assessment/investigation for child intervention services is the responsibility of the Children Services worker who may, where appropriate, be assisted by the police.
    2. School staff must not assume responsibility for any part of the assessment/investigation.
    3. The principal shall facilitate access to students for Children Services workers and/or police for the purpose of determining if a child is in need of intervention services.
    4. Children Services staff are expected to provide appropriate identification upon entering the school. Investigators shall engage in student interviews at the school site only in instances where the imminent safety and welfare of a student is in question.
  6. Facilitating Assessments/Investigations at School
    1. A Children Services worker or police officer may request permission from the principal to interview a student on school premises. The principal is expected to cooperate with such a request.
    2. It is recommended the interview be conducted in private unless the student requests or otherwise demonstrates they require a supportive but non-participatory presence of a familiar school employee. The investigator and principal shall together determine the appropriateness of having a school representative present to support the student during the interview.
    3. School personnel present in such interviews must recognize they could potentially be subpoenaed to provide court testimony.
  7. Suspected Abuse Involving School Personnel
    1. Division and school personnel must recognize child abuse can occur within the educational setting. Should a staff member or volunteer be suspected as the perpetrator of abuse, the Division must take immediate action consistent with the nature of the allegation, facts and circumstances. All such cases shall be reported to the police and the Superintendent.