Zero Tolerance Policy 2013

Every Child Achieves, Inc. 6400 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite 550,

North Hollywood, CA 91606

PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING POLICY AND PRINT AND SIGN THE SIGNATURE PAGE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

ALL SIGNATURES MUST BE FAXED TO (818) 392-5999 or e-mailed to scott@everychildachieves.com

COMPANY POLICY LETTER OF January 18, 2011

Revised December 2, 2013

 

To:

Exec Council

All Specialists

All Therapists

ECA/WW Clinic Administrators

 

Zero Tolerance Policy for Consumer Abuse or Neglect

(Cancels and replaces policy “Children at Risk”)

All Regional Centers require that this policy be known, reviewed and signed by all mandated reporters annually

As a vendor for numerous Regional Centers, Every Child Achieves and the therapists/specialists who are treating the child are mandated reporters where any instances of physical or sexual abuse has occurred or where there is a suspicion of such.  Even if there is reasonable suspicion that a child is at risk or potential risk, this is reportable. (A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18.)

The procedure ECA has implemented is as follows: The information, which must be specific, is provided right away first verbally and then in writing to the Services Manager at ECA by the therapist/specialist who is treating the child and observes the incident or has suspicion of child neglect or endangerment. (When issues arise where a child is at immediate risk, immediate action is required such as a call to the Police Dept (PD) or 911 prior to any other action taking place.)

Upon receipt of the information, the Services Manager does the following:

  1. Makes a verbal report to the Regional Center Service Coordinator within 24 hours of notification by the specialist/therapist
  2. Calls Child Protective Services  (CPS) the same day through the Child Protection Hot line – 800-540-4000.  (In the event of a crime and depending on the situation, a call may be made to the Police Department instead).
  3. Fills out the “Suspected Child Abuse Report” form and sends this via fax or email to the appropriate Regional Center and agency. This report form is available at: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/childabuse/ss_8572.pdf
  4. Sends a written report to CPS (or the PD) when requested with a copy to the appropriate RC.

We are responsible to report the following by law:

  1. The name, business address, and telephone number of the mandated reporter
  2. The capacity that makes the person a mandated reporter
  3. The information of sources of that information
  4. The Child’s address, present location and if applicable school and class
  5. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the child’s parents or guardians
  6. The name, address, telephone number, and other relevant personal information about the person or persons who might have abused or neglected the child
  7. Manners of abuse:
    • A physical injury inflicted by other than accidental means upon a child (Note: If a therapist either observes or is responsible for accidental physical injury to a child, a phone call should be made to the Services Manager as such, even though not reported to DCS, must be reported to the Regional Center. Examples:  child falls and hits his head on a very hard surface, child falls off of a tricycle and twists his arm, child is bitten by another child in the clinic drawing blood or bruising,  therapist witnesses child getting bit by a dog, etc.)
    • Sexual abuse of a child including both sexual acts or sexual exploitation
    • Willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child, including inflicting or permitting unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering. (Note: Any mandated reporter may report any child who is suffering serious emotional damage or is at the substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage.)
    • Willful infliction of cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition
    • Neglect of a child, whether “severe” or “general” by a person responsible for the child’s welfare.  The term “neglect” includes both acts of omissions or commissions, harming or threatening to harm the child’s health or welfare

Once the call has been made to CPS, the powers that be determine if this is a case for social services to investigate.  More often than not, they do take on the case.  Depending on the circumstances, they may send someone to the home the same day of the phone report especially where a child is involved.

Aside from the above, here is a general list of situations that would be reported to the Services Manager who makes a determination whether to report this to CPS or to the Regional Center Service Coordinator.  Her actions depend on the circumstances and information presented to her and the seriousness of same.  The list is not all-inclusive.

  • A family continuing to cancel/no show for needed therapy appointments on a routine basis where the child is in dire need of the therapy
  • A child malnourished or appearing to be so, no food in the home etc.
  • Home or day care, dirty, smelly and generally unsanitary, posing a health risk
  • Infestation in the home or daycare
  • Improper shelter-  no heat in dead of winter, child is cold/not clothed properly
  • Child unkempt, dirty, is not being bathed (head lice infestation would be included)
  • Observation of bruises, welts, broken bones, lacerations, puncture wounds, burns, absence of hair or hemorrhaging beneath the scalp (indicating hair pulling)
  • Death of any consumer or someone in the household, regardless of cause
  • Unsafe home environment posing danger eg. knives, sharp items left around, small items left around that could be ingested
  • Child is ill and family is not seeking needed medical care.
  • Medication errors

Depending on the severity or lack thereof, some of the above items may be able to be handled by communicating to the family the concerns and how it is affecting their child.  Some families need education and a lot of it.  Always report such instances to the Services Manager so it is documented in the child’s chart.  And if, despite communication to the family, the situation is not resolving, let the Services Manager know so she can make sure the situation gets addressed appropriately.  Also include this type of information (diplomatically of course) in any progress report.

Important

If a therapist goes to a home and sees a child in immediate risk or suspects such, the solution is to call 911.  Examples: child has been injured and requires immediate medical care – or therapist arrives at the home and there is no adult watching the child – or therapist knocks and cannot get into the home or apartment and hears child crying/screaming etc. etc.  In cases such as this, the therapist calls 911 and stays at the home until help arrives while also informing the Services Manager.  Therapists may not ever personally drive a consumer or family member as this poses potential legal risks.

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The Consequences of Failing to Follow the Reporting Laws

 

Any mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known or reasonably suspected child abuse as required by the child reporting law is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months confinement in a county jail or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1000) or by both. Any mandated reporter who willfully fails to report child abuse in violation of the child reporting law (where that abuse or neglect results in death or great bodily injury to the child) shall be punished by not more than one year in a county jail, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5000) or by both.

The same penalties apply to a supervisor or administrator who impedes or inhibits the reporting duties of a mandated reporter concerning child abuse under the circumstances noted above.

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This policy is being provided to all ECA mandated reporters who are obligated to read and understand this policy on an annual basis.

While not a pleasant subject, it is an important one and thus the reason for this policy.  Any questions, feel free to call the Services Manager.

Written by

Janet Schilling

Services Manager

for

Gerald Toumayan

Executive Director

for

Fredlyn Berger, OTR/L

Program Director

Every Child Achieves, Inc.

 

I have read the above statement and understand my responsibilities of the Zero Tolerance Policy for Consumer Abuse or Neglect and will comply with its provisions. 

 

 

___________________________________                      __________________________

Name (Print)                                                                  Signature

 

__________________

Date   

 

PLEASE FAX SIGNATURE PAGE TO (818) 392-5999 OR SCAN AND E-MAIL TO SCOTT@EVERYCHILDACHIEVES.COM.