CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT AND MENTAL INJURY
Reporting Child Abuse, Neglect, or Mental Injury
Each child care facility should have a written policy for reporting child abuse
and neglect. Caregivers/teachers are mandated reporters of child abuse and
neglect and must report to the child abuse reporting hotline, department of
social services, child protective services, or police as required by state and
local laws, any instance where there is a reasonable cause to believe that
child abuse and neglect has occurred. Every staff person should be oriented
to what and how to report. A staff member does not have to seek
permission from the Director of the child care facility to report suspicions of
child abuse, neglect, and/or mental injury. Emergency numbers must be
posted for easy access by staff.
Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Mental Injury
The following information is provided to familiarize you with physical and
behavioral indicators that are often associated with child abuse, neglect, and
mental injury. Please note that the list is not inclusive. Nor does the
presence of any of these indicators necessarily mean that a child is being
abused or neglected or is a victim of mental injury. However, the repeated
occurrence of an indicator, the presence of several indicators in combination,
or the appearance of serious injury or harm should alert you to the
possibility of abuse or neglect.
Possible indicators of CHILD PHYSICAL ABUSE include Physical
Indicators and/or Behavioral Indicators. For Example:
• Unexplained welts or bruises (especially facial bruises on infants), burns,
fractures, lacerations, abrasions, human bite marks.
• Appearance of injuries after school absence, weekend, or vacation.
• Absence of hair and/or hemorrhaging beneath the scalp due to vigorous
• Cigar or cigarette burns, especially on feet, hands, or buttocks.
• Burns or cuts patterned like an electric burner, iron, belt buckle, etc.