ERIC Number: ED360678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Responding to Child Abuse in the Schools: Issues in Interagency Cooperation.
Gittins, Naomi E.
Inquiry & Analysis, p1-7 May 1993
This article examines the legal and practical issues that school officials should consider in handling a case of child abuse allegedly committed by a school employee. It suggests ways in which school officials can work with other involved parties to best serve the child's needs without compromising the district's ability to meet its own legal responsibilities. Information is provided on state cooperation statutes, which include laws that mandate interagency cooperation and the use of interdisciplinary child protection teams. Confidentiality provisions that regulate the use of child abuse, student, and personnel records, are reviewed next. Ways to overcome potential conflicts of interest in interagency cooperation during the reporting and investigating phases are described in the next section. Possible problem areas during investigation involve authority, unqualified child interviewers, advanced notice to the accused, and case disposition. Finally, suggestions for dealing with parents are offered. It is concluded that interagency cooperation can help a school district respond effectively to charges of abuse by school employees. Whether through formal statutes or the development of working relationships based on mutual trust, schools can meet their own legal obligations without interfering with the efforts of other governmental agencies to combat child abuse. (LMI)
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation, Child Abuse, Compliance (Legal), Conflict of Interest, Elementary Secondary Education, Legal Problems, Legal Responsibility, Personnel Policy, School Responsibility
National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA. Council of School Attorneys.