Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Response for Education Body Staff

The responsibility to protect children belongs to everyone. School staff are well-positioned to identify signs and symptoms of suspected child abuse, with children spending much of their time in school. In 2020, the School Handbook for Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect was developed to assist school staff in responding to child abuse-related issues. 

Recognizing that all parties involved are under high-stress, the handbook is designed to provide practical steps for school staff in how to make a report. It outlines school staff’s legal obligation to report suspected child abuse to mitigate the risk of abuse going unreported. 

Resources are in development to support school staff in navigating disclosures from students, effects of stress on school staff, and strategies to respond to students in a way that fosters relationships and offers predictability during a very high-stress situation.