Organization & Culture AP 362
Occasions arise when an employee may believe that a child (student) is in need of "Intervention Services" as defined in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.
Any person (including a member of staff) who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe a child has been abused or neglected, or is at substantial risk of same, is legally required to report the matter to a Child and Family Services Authority. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act provides protection from legal action against a person making a report unless the reporting "is done maliciously or without reasonable and probable grounds for the belief."
1. The Principal shall annually review with staff the procedures related to Children/Students in Need of Intervention Services.
2. If a school staff member is satisfied that there are reasonable and probable grounds to suspect a child is abused or neglected, or that the child is at risk of either abuse or neglect, the staff member is required to make a formal report to the Child and Family Services Regional Authority Office:
200, 131 First Avenue 780-962-7635
Stony Plain – Alexander/Enoch/Paul First Nations
4813 – 47 Avenue 780-963-9424
3. The duty of a staff member to report a child deemed to be in need of intervention services has not been discharged until the staff member has reported to a child services case worker.
4. The staff member is to advise the Principal or designate regarding any formal report that has been made;
5. Staff who make a report that a child needs intervention services are advised to record the date and time of the call and the name and position of the child services case worker who accepts the report;
5.1.1 The record is to be placed in a confidential record and stored securely in a designated file, separate from the student record;
5.2 Any disclosure made by a child to school personnel is to be recorded in the child's own words, with the statement and any other relevant notes secured in a confidential record, separate from the student record; and
5.3 Any reports or records created by a school division or school relative to children considered to need intervention services and which are under the custody and control of a school division, may be subject to disclosure under the terms of the FOIP Act.
6. The investigation for child intervention services is the responsibility of child services case workers from the Child and Family Services Authority, who may, where appropriate, be assisted by peace officers or the police:
6.1 School staff shall not assume this responsibility; and
6.2 Staff are to offer support to the student, but refrain from seeking further information to confirm suspicion or clarify disclosures.
7. Within the context of their responsibility for the well-being and care of students in a school, staff are to facilitate child services case workers' and/or police officers' access to students for the purposes of determining if a child is in need of intervention services:
7.1 The Children’s Services Case Worker is responsible for:
7.1.1 Determining whether the child is in need of intervention services;
7.1.2 Contacting the police if a criminal investigation is required; and
7.1.3 Coordinating a response with other agencies, if necessary;
7.2 Children’s Services staff shall offer appropriate identification to school staff. It is understood that investigators will engage in student interviews at the school site only in instances where the imminent safety and welfare of a student is in question;
7.3 The responsibility for notifying a child’s guardian about an investigation rests with the Children’s Services Case Worker or police officer conducting the enquiry;
7.4 In the event a child's return to home from school is delayed because of an investigation, it is the responsibility of the investigator to make every effort to contact the guardian(s). School personnel shall not assume this responsibility.
8. With respect to facilitating investigations at school:
8.1 A Children’s Services Case Worker or police officer may request permission from the Principal to interview the child on school premises:
8.1.1 School personnel are expected to co-operate with the request; and
8.1.2 It shall be the responsibility of the investigating team to determine when to notify the guardian(s). Whenever possible, the investigator(s) are to give advance notice to the Principal of their need to visit the school and/or conduct an interview on school premises.
8.2 It is recommended that the interview be conducted in private unless the child requests or otherwise demonstrates that she/he requires the supportive but non- participating presence of a familiar school employee.
8.2.1 School personnel present in such interviews could potentially be subpoenaed to provide court testimony.
8.2.2 The investigator(s) and school personnel together shall determine the appropriateness of having a school representative present during the interview.
9. School personnel directly involved may expect follow-up communication from Child and Family Services that provides relevant information, determined on a “need to know” basis, about the disposition of the investigation.
9.1 At the end of the investigation and disposition of the case, the staff member, counselor and school administrator, with input from Children’s Services Case Worker, are to meet to discuss the steps they could take to assist the child.
9.2 Children’s Services Case Workers are to share information with staff on a "need to know basis" and as relevant to the student's continued need for school support and educational services.