GAAD: Child Abuse
Any district employee who has reason to know or suspect a child has been injured as a result of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, shall promptly report the matter to the local Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) office or to the local law enforcement agency if the DCF office is not open. Employees may file a report of suspected abuse anonymously to either DCF by phoning 1-800-922-5330 or to local law enforcement officials. The Code for Care of Children also provides civil immunity from prosecution if the report is made in good faith.
The employee making the report will not contact the child's family or any other persons to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or neglect.
DCF or Law Enforcement Access to Students on School Premises
The building principal shall allow a student to be interviewed by DCF or law enforcement representatives on school premises to investigate suspected child abuse and shall act as appropriate to facilitate the agency's access to the child and to protect the student's interests during the process. State law grants the investigating agency the authority to determine whether a school employee may be present while the interview is being conducted, taking into account the child's best interests. If asked to sit in on the interview by the agency representative conducting it, the building principal or designee thereof shall oblige such request in order to provide comfort to the child throughout the process and to facilitate the investigation.
Cooperation Between School and Agencies
Principals shall work with DCF and law enforcement agencies to develop a plan of cooperation for investigating reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. To the extent that safety is not compromised, law enforcement officers investigating complaints of suspected child abuse or neglect on school property shall not be in uniform.
The employee shall promptly report to the local DCF office or law enforcement if DCF is closed. It is recommended the building administrator also be notified after the report is made.
If the building principal has been notified, the principal shall immediately notify the superintendent that the initial report to DCF has been made. If appropriate, the principal may confer with the school's social worker, guidance counselor or psychologist. At no time shall the principal or any other staff member prevent or interfere with the making of a suspected child abuse report.
If available, the following information shall be given by the person making the initial report: name, address, and age of the student; name and address of the parents or guardians; nature and extent of injuries or description of neglect or abuse; and any other information that might help establish the cause of the child's condition.
Any personal interview or physical inspection of the child by any school employee shall be conducted in an appropriate manner with an adult witness present.
State law provides that anyone making a report in good faith and without malice shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
Mobile Crisis Helpline
Crisis support for Kansas families and children to resolve an emotional, psychiatric, or behavioral health crisis is available through the Department of Children and Families Mobile Crisis Helpline, 1-833-441-2240, including:
- Problem solving to resolve behavioral health crisis;
- Referral to community resources or recommendation to engage in stabilization services;
- In-person support via mobile crisis response; and
- Contacting mobile crisis response unit to assist in emergency situations.
Services are available to all Kansans 20 years or younger including anyone in foster care or formerly in foster care.
Annual training for all school employees on child abuse and neglect reporting requirements shall be provided, and documentation of the training shall be maintained.
Approved: November 7, 2022