Keep an eye out for child abuse
In recognition of National Child Abuse Awareness Month, Summit County’s Child Protection Team wants to remind people to report any known or suspected child abuse to the Department of Social Services. Approximately 97 child abuse or neglect referrals were investigated in 2009 in Summit County. Thirty-five percent of those were considered confirmed reports. It is important to note that children are rarely removed from their homes unless imminent risk and safety issues are determined. A more likely scenario is that services, such as counseling, parenting classes, drug/alcohol treatment, child care assistance, etc., are offered to remedy the presenting problems. The desired result is that children are able to remain safely in their own homes.
We encourage any person to report such activity, but there are also a list of professionals who are required by law to report. Those mandated reporters include: Physician or surgeon, including a physician in training; Child health associate; medical examiner or coroner; dentist; osteopath; optometrist; chiropractor; chiropodist or podiatrist; registered nurse or licensed practical nurse; hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients; Christian science practitioner; public or private school official or employee; social worker or worker in any facility or agency that is licensed or certified pursuant to part 1 of article 6 of title 26, C.R.S.; mental health professional; Dental hygienist; Psychologist; Physical therapist; Veterinarian; Peace officer; pharmacist; commercial film and photographic print processor; firefighter; victim’s advocate; licensed professional counselors; licensed marriage and family therapists; unlicensed psychotherapists; clergy member; registered dietician; worker in the state department of human services; juvenile parole and probation officers; child and family investigators; officers and agents of the state bureau of animal protection, and animal control officers.
Willful failure to report suspected child abuse by a mandated reporter could result in being charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor or being liable for damages. If you have questions regarding any of this information, please contact the Social Services front desk by telephone at (970) 668-9160 and ask for the intake worker or by email, contact Wendy Van Antwerp at email@example.com. Questions directed to the Child Protection Team as a whole may be addressed to CPT Chairman Katie Duggin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 389-3166 or Judy D. Pocius at email@example.com or (970) 668-9166.
As a reminder, in addition to those persons specifically required by law to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect and circumstances or conditions which might reasonably result in abuse or neglect, all other persons are encouraged to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect and circumstances or conditions which might reasonably result in child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services. Reporters may remain anonymous.
Information submitted by the Summit County Child Protection Team.
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