Recently the Connecticut Attorney General and Office of the Child Advocate released a report entitled, “Protecting our Children: Improving Protections for Children when Allegations are made that School System Personnel Abused and/or Neglected Children.” This report is based on the results of a joint investigation of DCF, the State Department of Education, and local school districts concerning the reporting and investigation of claims of abuse and neglect made to or about school district personnel.
The report sets out thirty different recommendations for future action. While many of the recommendations involve statutory changes or the actions of state agencies, the report does contain some recommendations that local school districts may find useful. For example, school districts should make it a point to regularly review and update district mandated reporter policies. Additionally, school districts should ensure that all mandated reporters review appropriate training and that the district document all such training. School districts also need to ensure that they report allegations of abuse and neglect by school district personnel to the State Department of Education, whether or not the allegation has been substantiated.
Following this report, Connecticut school districts should expect to see increased legislative and regulatory activity on this issue. Ensuring that policies and procedures are properly updated is a good first response by school districts.