- Every employee is required by law to report any suspected child abuse to a local
or state law enforcement agency, which would include the County’s Sheriff Department,
local Police Department, or Texas Department of Human Service (Child Protective Services).
This reporting must also be done in a timely manner, which means as soon as it is
reasonable to report.
The 1-800 phone number of the Texas Department of Human Services is posted in all of
our Centers. This is also found in the blue pages or State government pages of any
phone book. This can also be reported by calling your local police or sheriff departments
or calling 911.
This call will be done by the employee who observes signs of suspected child abuse, or
the employee can do this in conjunction with their supervisor. If a supervisor is not
available, the employee must be responsible for reporting the suspected abuse in a timely
- If a child under our care has been abused, and it is determined that we should have
noticed this, the employees who have been directly involved in this child’s care and
education, could be held accountable for not reporting this through fines, jail time
and possibly sued by the parents or guardians of the child. Also, it is possible that
the agency could be held legally responsible.
- Signs of child abuse could include, but not be restricted to:
- black eye(s)
- undue crying
- child talks about being hurt
- extreme withdrawal
- child show marked fear
- child is very aggressive
- child acts out abusive behavior with dolls or other toys
- child makes up stories of an abusive nature
- child recommends severe punishment of other children or self
If for any reason an employee feels threatened or unsafe in reporting suspected
child abuse, the employee is protected by this law.
The law does not require the person reporting to give their name or place of employment.
It is recommended that if you do call and do not give your name that you use a code name
for identification so that at a later date you can demonstrate that you did do what this
Section 1 Questions:
|1. If you observe a child
you suspect has been abused, the law requires|
a. you are to report
this to your supervisor.|
b. you are required
to tell the child’s parents or guardians.
c. your are to report
this to a state or local law enforcement agency.
d. you should call
someone at Central Office and find out what to do.
|2. In order to report
a. you must be able
to prove it.|
b. you must suspect
that abuse has happened.
c. you must have the
approval of your supervisor.
d. you must have more
that one instance of this.
|3. Child abuse can
a. be only physical
b. be physical and/or
c. be based on attitudes
of the parents.
d. be physical,
emotional, and/or mental.
|4. If you call to report
a. you must give your
b. you are not required
to give your name.
c. you must tell them
where you work.
d. you have to be able
to tell them who did the abuse.
Section 2: Agency Policy
- Our main concern is prevention of child abuse through parent education and careful
monitoring of our own behaviors. Monitoring our own behaviors involves many things,
including but not limited to:
- Ensure that all Head Start programs are properly supervised.
- Do not be alone with a single child, unobserved by other staff, volunteers, or parents,
except in cases of emergency.
- Do not relate to children in non-Head Start activities, such as babysitting, weekend
trips, or other activities without the permission (in writing) of the Head Start Director.
- Do not discipline children by use of physical punishment, neglect, abusive language,
obscene gestures, displays of favoritism, and/or any action that is injurious or neglectful
to a child’s emotional or physical needs.
- Be alert to the physical and emotional state of all children when they enter the
center. Alert your supervisor immediately of any signs of injury, unusual behavior, or
- Physical displays of affection should be limited to hugs.
- Reporting procedures:
- First, Contact Child Protective Services by telephone. This may be done in
conjunction with your Center manager. Be sure to get the name of the individual
taking the report and the case number assigned to the report. (Case number may not
be assigned when you make the initial phone call, so it may be necessary to call
back later to get this number.)
- Second, Contact appropriate Associate Head Start Director by telephone.
- Place documentation of Case Number in Family Partnership Agreement File (SS/PI
staff will need to do this.) This is the only information that needs to be kept at
- For documentation purposes only, a Suspicion of Child Abuse or Neglect form should
be filled out and sent to the appropriate Associate Head Start Director as soon as
possible after the observation has been made.
Section 2 Questions:
|5. If a Head Start parent
or guardian asks you to baby-sit their child |
a. you should do this,
f possible, because it is our job to help our families whenever we can.|
b. you can do this if
you are not paid for doing it.
c. you must have the
permission of your supervisor.
d. you must have
permission in writing of the Head Start Director.
|6. The first step in
reporting child abuse is to |
a. contact law
enforcement agency Services.|
b. contact your
Associate Head Start Director.
c. contact the
Head Start Director.
d. contact the
|7. When talking to the
person at Child Protective Services you should|
a. get the name of
the person taking the call, and case number assigned to the report when possible.|
b. make sure Head
Start is not implicated in the abuse.
c. make sure you
do not give them the child’s name in order not to violate confidentiality of the child.
d. stay on the line
until you get a full report of how they will do the investigation.
|8. The document you are
asked to complete and forward to the your Associate Head Start Director is the|
a. Suspicion of Child
Abuse and Neglect form.|
b. Accident and Personal
c. Unfortunate Incident
d. Personnel Action
Section 3: Positive Discipline
There are three major components of classroom oriented positive discipline: stress
relief, classroom management, and behavior guidance.
- Stress relief
- For staff … (This list is not all inclusive.)
- have play oriented and group supported activities for staff only,
- become more knowledgeable about problem solving,
- positive feedback for jobs
- be able to share concerns in a non judgmental atmosphere
- have consistency of rules
- have opportunities to be creative and expressive
- be part of a team
- have authority equal to responsibility.
- For children …
- group exercise activities, such as, singing and dancing.
- individuals activities,
such as, play dough, sand pouring, warm water play, reading or listening to a story, etc
- things that help us as adults are also beneficial to children, such as, having a
concerned listener to our problems, being praised for doing what we do, feeling part
of something important, etc.
2. Classroom management
- Have a well organized classroom. Well organized in terms of mobility, attractiveness,
- Have a well planned effective instructional program. Are all of the people (staff,
volunteers, and children) in the classroom challenged in an inviting way? Have activities
that involve creativity as part of the doing and allow for a large enough range of
creativity so as not to elicit fear of failure in lesser developed individuals.
- Have an array of activities that range from very passive to very active.
- Promote positive behaviors through redirection, transition activities, one-on-one
opportunities, a variety of means of expression, methods for people to express
frustration and complaints, and promotion of consistent positive feedback.
3. Behavior Guidance
- Be well versed in a variety of behavioral techniques.
- For the more vigorous “acting out” children have a plan or strategy for promoting
positive behaviors. It is often best to have a “team plan” that involves the parent,
Education Specialist, other classroom teacher and volunteers in the classroom, and
possibly other center staff.
- Be familiar with the Handout The ABC’s of Behavior Management.
- Address behaviors or patterns of behavior as soon as you notice these. Try to avoid
letting things build up into “impossible” or extremely frustrating levels of
unacceptableness before discussing the matter with someone else.
Section 3 Questions:
|9. The three major
components of classroom oriented positive discipline are|
a. stress relief,
strong supervision, and parental support.|
b. stress relief,
classroom management, and training.
c. stress relief,
classroom management, and behavior guidance.
d. stress relief,
behavior guidance, and lots of vacation.
|10. Stress relief techniques
a. are essential for
both staff and children.|
b. are more important
c. are more important
d. are not near as
important as strong discipline.
|11. Components of classroom
management might include|
a. an organized
classroom, well planned instructional program and promotion of positive behaviors|
b. an organized
classroom, an organized teacher and organized children.
c. children who
are all within a couple of months of each other in age.
d. having parents
be in the classroom at least two hours a day.
|12. A guide to behavior
guidance could be found in|
a. The ABC’s of
b. each lesson plan
in every classroom.
c. your weekly team
d. the Head Start
Director’s office only.
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is verification that you have read and understood the content of this module
and have completed this learning program in good faith, and are
willing to practice the principles outlined.
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|Your Content Area
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