Abuse Reporting -- Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
Lindgren Child Care Center’s staff is required by Minnesota state law to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect to the proper authorities. All staff are mandated reporters, and it is not allowed to pass off the obligation to report by telling a lead teacher or director.
There are two important levels of child abuse and neglect reporting that must be understood when working at Lindgren Child Care Center:
- Reporting suspected abuse/neglect of a child by someone outside of the child care center. Such incidents must be reported to Child Protection Services (St. Cloud Phone 320-255-6000, ask for Child Protection) the local police (302-255-1200), or the county sheriff.
- Reporting of abuse/neglect events that occur within the center itself. Such incidents must be reported to the Department of Human Services, Division of Licensing. Call 651-297-4123 to make the appropriate report.
Any person, who in good faith suspects abuse of a minor, is obligated to report that suspicion. When the center has information about the reporting of suspected abuse and neglect, either internally or externally, the director will conduct an internal review and take corrective action if necessary.
Who Should Report Child Abuse and Neglect
- Any person may voluntarily report abuse or neglect.
- If a person works with children in a licensed facility, he or she are legally required or mandated to report and cannot shift the responsibility of reporting to his or her supervisor or to anyone else at his or her licensed facility. If someone knows or have reason to believe a child is being or has been neglected or physically abused within the preceding three years, he or she must immediately (within 24 hours) make a report to an outside agency.
What to Report
- Definitions of maltreatment are contained in the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act (Minnesota Statues, section 626.566).
- A report to any of the above agencies should contain enough information to identify the child involved, any persons responsible for the abuse or neglect (if known), and the nature and extent of the maltreatment and/or possible licensing violations. For reports concerning suspected abuse or neglect occurring within a licensed facility, the report should include any actions taken by the facility in response to the incident.
- An oral report of suspected abuse or neglect made to one of the above agencies by a mandated reporter must be followed by a written report to the same agency within 72 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays.
An employer of any mandated reporter shall not retaliate against the mandated reporter for reports made in good faith or against a child with respect to whom the report was made.
The Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act contains specific provisions regarding civil actions that can be initiated by mandated reporters who believe that retaliations have occurred
Failure to Report
A mandated reporter who knows or has reason to believe a child is or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused and fails to report is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, a mandated reporter who fails to report maltreatment that is found to be serious or reoccurring maltreatment may be disqualified from employment positions allowing direct contact with persons receiving services licensed by the Department of Human Services and by the Minnesota Department of Health, and unlicensed Personal Care Provider Organizations.