4/1/14

Contra Costa Times Article: Should Contra Costa school volunteers be trained to report child abuse?

The Contra Costa Times has published this article about the Contra Costa Grand Jury Report: Training School District Employees In Reporting Child Abuse.    The full article follows.

Should Contra Costa school volunteers be trained to report child abuse?


By Matthias Gafni Contra Costa Times

Contra Costa school employees and possibly even volunteers who deal with students should be trained annually to report child abuse, according to recommendations by the Contra Costa Civil Grand Jury.

The recently released report -- which cited investigations by this newspaper that have led to $20 million in settlements in Moraga, Brentwood and Antioch school districts, terminations, a federal report and state legislation -- said districts have "scrambled" the past two years to implement training in light of media scrutiny.

Grand Jury Report: Training School District Employees in Reporting Child Abuse

The Contra Costa Grand Jury has released a report (available here) which recommends that all school district employees and volunteers be trained to recognize and report suspected child abuse.    The report's summary states:

The explosion of cases against school districts in the County alleging child abuse, and the accompanying payouts of millions of dollars to settle those cases, has revealed a disturbing fact: most districts have failed for years to adequately train their employees about their legal obligations to recognize and report suspected, or known, instances of child abuse.  Some districts have now made a good, but belated, start to put in place training programs. However, it is essential that all districts immediately implement training programs that educate all school employees, and volunteers who interact with children; that such training be conducted on an annual basis; and that all districts have a system in place to verify that each employee has completed the training program.