Mandatory Reporting Info
Teachers play a vital role in child abuse detection, prevention, and reporting. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 52% of all identified child abuse cases classified as causing harm to the child are identified by school personnel. That means teachers and other school staff are responsible for recognizing and reporting more instances of child maltreatment than hospitals, police departments, and the general public combined. As a teacher, you are likely a child’s best hope for intervention.
It’s important to note that all teachers in West Virginia are mandatory reporters under WV Code §49-2-803. In fact, most people who work with children are classified as mandatory reporters under WV law — including coaches, camp counselors, and members of the clergy.
Being a mandatory reporter means that you are required by law to report all reasonable suspicions of child abuse or neglect to DHHR within 24 hours.
Reporting to a supervisor or school administrator DOES NOT fulfill your legal duty as a mandatory reporter. You MUST file a direct report by calling the WV Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 800-352-6513.
For cases of serious physical abuse or sexual abuse/assault, you must also contact contact State Police and any law enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate.
“7 Ways Teachers Can Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” by Defend Innocence
“The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Being the Trusted Adult” by Darkness to Light
“Protecting Our Children From Abuse and Neglect” by the American Psychological Association
Training Programs and Online Resources
The Stewards of Children training by Darkness to Light is available online for $10 (or $25 for Stewards Plus training).
Childhelp has compiled a list of Child Abuse Education & Prevention Resources.
Training videos and tests for elementary, middle school, and high school educators are available online from Face It.
For a list of resources related to human trafficking, visit the West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force website.
WVCAN and the WV Department of Education are working on an Erin’s Law Abuse Prevention Training Series. The first module is complete and features footage of Amber Higgins sharing her story at a SHIELD school assembly:
Back2Back presents trauma care trainings across the country. You can find a list of scheduled training on the Back2Back website or sign up for their email newsletter to get tips and resource delivered straight to your inbox.
The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU has posted a list of articles and online videos related to its Trauma-Based Relational Intervention (TRBI) model. TRBI an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. You can also buy digital or DVD copies of various TBRI lectures online.
The Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia has several publications related to trauma:
Other helpful videos for understanding the effects of childhood trauma include the following:
“How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime” (TED Talk by Nadine Burke Harris)
“Complex Trauma: Understanding and Treatment” (lecture by Dr. Diane Langberg)
“Child Advocacy Studies: Incorporating ACE Into Undergraduate and Graduate Programs” (presentation by Victor Veith)
“Like a Footprint in Wet Cement: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experience Research” (webinar by Victor Veith)
Below are some helplines available for victims and people in crisis, organized by topic. Teachers may need to call these hotlines themselves or pass them along students or parents.
Alcohol and Drugs
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration: 800-662-4357
Childhelp: 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
Child Sexual Abuse
Darkness to Light: 866-FOR-LIGHT (866-367-5444)
Child Welfare Information Gateway: 800-394-3366 or live chat on website
Crime Connect Hotline: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846)
Crisis (Any Kind)
Crisis Text Line: Text “LISTEN” to 741-741
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800−799−7233
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888 or text “Be Free” to 233733
Missing or Abducted Children
Child Find of America 800-I-AM-LOST (800-426-5678)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678)
National Parent Helpline: 855-4-A-PARENT (855-427-2736)
National Capital Poison Control Center: 800-222-1222
American Pregnancy Helpline: 866-942-6466
Option Line: 800-712-HELP or text “HELPLINE” to 313131
Crisis Pregnancy Helpline: 800-672-2296
National Life Center: 800-848-LOVE
National Runaway Safeline: 800-786-2929
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
Prevent Suicide WV: 304-415-5787
WV Child Abuse Hotline: 800-352-6513
WV Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN)
WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence
WV Crime Victim Compensation Fund: 304-347-4850
WV Foundation for Rape and Information Services (WVFRIS)
State Coordinator: 304-366-9500