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.

If you have questions about mandatory reporting requirements, please refer to our FAQ page about Reporting Child Abuse in WV.


Recommended Reading

What Teachers and Child Care Providers Can Do to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” by Stop It Now!

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).

Check out the Kidpower Child Abuse and Bullying Prevention Resources for Schools.

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:


Trauma-Informed Teaching

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:

 

National Helplines

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

Child Abuse

Childhelp: 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)

Child Sexual Abuse

Darkness to Light: 866-FOR-LIGHT (866-367-5444)

Child Welfare

Child Welfare Information Gateway: 800-394-3366 or live chat on website 

Crime Victims

Crime Connect Hotline: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846)

Crisis (Any Kind)

Crisis Text Line: Text “LISTEN” to 741-741

Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800−799−7233

Human Trafficking

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)

Parents

National Parent Helpline: 855-4-A-PARENT (855-427-2736)

Poison

National Capital Poison Control Center: 800-222-1222

Pregnancy

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

Runaways

National Runaway Safeline: 800-786-2929

Sexual Assault

National Sexual Assault Hotline:  800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)

Suicide

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)


Local Resources