I am doing my practicum in a school setting in a Bridges classroom dealing with behavioural children. They have all been diagnosed with different developmental issues such as ADHD, FASD, or ODD. Alot of these children also have a history with Family Services and have seen trauma or addiction in their lives.
I have experienced different situations
throughout my time there that have kept me wondering about something I
could use some help on.
In regards to reporting issues or concerns with Child safety at home, what exactly are our obligations when we work in the schools!? Without any proof, are we still legally required to report worries or signs of abuse or neglect? Where do I stand as a practicum student in regards to this important peice of the puzzle in keeping our children safe?
Any help or discussion surrounding this is welcome! Thanks.
You are always legally obligated to report suspicions of child abuse regardless of occupation or status.
They may not investigate, they may investigate and close the file, they may investigate and apprehend. They may just need someone else to confirm an already open case.
You are obligated period.
I can only speak to Alberta because that's were I am. I know that it is the legal obligation to report suspected child abuse. If you don’t report it here in Alberta I believe it is a hefty fine or jail time.
The question really should be, “what harm can I do
by reporting”. While Child Welfare may have the stigma that they take
children away, the true purpose of Child Welfare is to do what is best
for the child. I would also ask myself the question “how would I feel
if?” my answer is often is “responsible”.