During any given term there are approximately 800 minor students enrolled at MiraCosta College. Therefore, the most important issue that faculty and staff must understand is their responsibility as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.
The law requires that all mandated reporters read and understand Penal Codes 11165.7, 11166, 11167 and 11172 which stipulate that mandated reporters understand the following:
- Who is a mandated reporter
- Their reporting responsibilities
- The risk of criminal or civil prosecution for failure to report suspected child abuse/neglect
- What is reasonable suspicion
- How to make a report of suspected child abuse/neglect
- The protection from criminal and civil prosecution of mandated reporters
Faculty and staff must sign a statement that they have received and have knowledge of the above Penal Codes.
Why Is This Important To Faculty?
- Your position makes you a mandated reporter as required by Penal Code, § 11165.7 subd. (a)
- Your status as a mandated reporter, requires you to report suspected child abuse (Penal Code, § 11165.7 subd. (a))(If you have contact with students under the age of 18, you will be notified by the Registrar of a student’s status as a Minor.)
- Mandated reporters are protected both civilly and criminally. However, there are penalties if you do not report suspected child abuse. (Penal Codes, § 11172(a) and 11166.01 subd. (c))
Types of Child Abuse
There are four types of child abuse:
1. Sexual Abuse
- A sexual assault on, or the sexual exploitation of, a minor.
- See Penal Code 11165.1 for a more explicit description of acts that constitute sexual abuse.
- The negligent treatment or maltreatment of a student/child by a parent or caretaker under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the student/child's health or welfare.
- Includes acts of commission and omission on the part of the responsible person.
- Sever Neglect includes the failure to protect the student/child from malnutrition or medically diagnosed non-organic failure to thrive.
- General Neglect includes the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision where no physical injury to the student/child has occurred.
3. Willful harming or injuring of a student/child or the endangering of the person or health of a student/child
- A situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any student/child to suffer, or inflicts thereon, unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.
- The caretaker willfully causes or permits the person or health of a student/child to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered.
4. Unlawful corporal punishment or injury of a student/child
- A situation where any person willfully inflicts upon any student/child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition.
Potential Signs of Child Abuse
- tells you the injury and/or sexual abuse has occurred
- has unexplained injuries
- is withdrawn, depressed, suicidal and/or apathetic exhibits exaggerated fearfulness
- is excessively aggressive, violent, or destructive
When To Make a Report of Suspected Child Abuse
When you have:
- Knowledge of abuse
- Observed abuse
- Reasonable suspicion of abuse
- Child Abuse Penal Codes
- Form SS 8572
- Instructions on Completing Form SS 8572
Much of the following resources are geared to K-12 and may not apply to a community college setting. However, the basic premise is the same:
- Child Abuse Educator's Responsibilities
- Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Law
- Child Abuse Prevention Handbook
- Child Abuse Prevention Handbook Addena I-IV