Issues of Abuse Quiz

1.     Which school employees are required to report, or cause a report to be made to the proper law enforcement agency or the department of social and health services, if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect (bold your choice(s))?

a/ coaches b/ volunteers c/ bus drivers d/ custodians e/ teachers f/ secretaries 

All professional school personnel are required to report any incidents which give the employee reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or negligent treatment.


  1. Are school districts required to inform new teachers about how to report child abuse (yes / no)?
  2. How long after there is reasonable cause to believe a child suffered abuse or neglect is the deadline for designated employees to report or cause a report to occur? 48 hours
  3. If you suspect that someone who works or volunteers for the school system is abusing a student, and this person is someone whom you regularly supervise, what is your legal obligation? He or she shall report such incident, or cause a report to be made, to the proper law enforcement agency, provided that the person alleged to have caused the abuse or neglect is employed by, contracted by, or volunteers with the organization and coaches, trains, educates, or counsels a child or children or regularly has unsupervised access to a child or children as part of the employment, contract, or voluntary service.


  1. If you report that someone is abusing a student, what are the content requirements of the report? an immediate oral report must be made by telephone or otherwise to the proper law enforcement agency or the department of social and health services and, upon request, must be followed by a report in writing. Such reports must contain the following information, if known:
     (1) The name, address, and age of the child

 (2) The name and address of the child's parents, stepparents, guardians, or other persons having custody of the child;

     (3) The nature and extent of the alleged injury or injuries;   (4) The nature and extent of the alleged neglect;

     (5) The nature and extent of the alleged sexual abuse;   (6) Any evidence of previous injuries, including their nature and extent; and (7) Any other information that may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child's death, injury, or injuries and the identity of the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators.


  1. Briefly, how does the law define:

Child abuse or neglect means the injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child by any person under circumstances which indicate that the child's health, welfare, and safety is harmed. RCW 26.44.020 (12).

       A) child abuse :

       B) child neglect:

A partial list of actions which constitute child abuse includes:

a. Infliction of physical injury on a child by other than accidental means, causing death, disfigurement, skin bruising, impairment of physical or emotional health or loss or impairment of any bodily function, and/or

b. Creating a substantial risk of physical harm to a child's bodily functioning, and/or

c. Committing or allowing to be committed any sexual offense against a child as defined in the criminal code, or intentionally touching, either directly or through clothing, the genitals, anus or breasts of a child for other than hygiene or child care purposes, and/or

d. Committing acts which are cruel or inhumane regardless of observable injury. Such acts may include, but are not limited to, instances of extreme discipline, demonstrating a disregard of a child's pain and/or mental suffering, and/or

e. Assaulting or criminally mistreating a child as defined by the criminal code, and/or

f. Failing to provide food, shelter, clothing, supervision or health care necessary to a child's health or safety.

g. Engaging in actions or omissions resulting in injury to, or creating a substantial risk to the physical or mental health or development of a child. h. Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of (a) through (g).

(1) Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child; (2) striking a child with a closed fist; (3) shaking a child under age three; (4) interfering with a child's breathing; (5) threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or (6) doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks.


  1. Briefly summarize how you would report child abuse and neglect?

A report to the proper law enforcement agency (the police or state patrol) or to the Department of Social and Health Services1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276 (child protective services)

Failure to make such a report is a gross misdemeanor. RCW 26.44.030.

Reporting to school administrators or reporting anonymously does not satisfy the legal duty to report child abuse.

  1. Briefly summarize what would typically happen immediately following your report of child abuse or neglect.

       CPS receives the report.

       The CPS worker uses a risk assessment tool to determine whether the report meets the legal definition of abuse or neglect and how dangerous the situation is.

       If the situation reaches the level of risk indicated by the risk assessment tool, the case is accepted for investigation. If the situation does not meet the level of risk required for investigation, the case is rejected and the matter is closed.

       After the case is accepted for investigation, if the reported conduct violates a criminal law, the CPS worker will inform law enforcement.

       Based on the risk assessment, the CPS worker determines whether the case is "emergent" or "non-emergent." This means that the CPS worker must decide whether the child is in immediate danger of being harmed. If the case is considered "emergent," the CPS worker must respond to that report within 24 hours. If the worker determines that the case is not an emergency, it will be assigned to a worker for investigation within 10 days.

       Investigation of the report begins.

  1. Can you follow up (inquire about actions that were taken) your report (yes / no)?

As the referent, you may call and check on the status of the case. The social worker can share with you information that is not confidential. If you are seriously concerned that a child continues to be in an unsafe situation and DSHS is not responding as you would like, you can contact the Washington State Family and Child Ombudsman's Office. However, if you ever suspect that a child is in imminent risk of abuse or neglect, call 911 and report it immediately.

  1. Can you request confidentiality when submitting a report (yes / no)?

When making a report to Child Protective Services, you may request confidentiality. This means that you can ask the intake worker to indicate on the form that you would like to protect your identity. You will still have to provide your name, address, and telephone number as required in RCW 26.44.030

  1. What are some possible consequences of your decision:

       A) to report suspected child abuse or neglect :

The investigative process flow chart begins to determine if there is cause for further investigation;

You must make sure if you report to an Administrator that s/he follows through within 48 hours; best to stand there while s/he makes the call.

Immunity from liability: Any person who reports in good faith or who testifies in a court proceeding about child abuse or neglect is immune from any liability unless the person reporting or testifying intentionally makes false statements.

       B) to not report suspected child abuse or neglect:

Any person who is required to make a report of child abuse or neglect (a mandatory reporter) and who fails to do so can be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor and can be subject to imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year. This person can also be fined up to $5000. This person may also be subject to other penalties set by various city ordinances. RCW 26.44.080.

  1. List three (of the four) commonly accepted categories considered abuse and then briefly describe two or more possible descriptors (manifestations) for each that a teacher might observe?

       physical abuse


  • sexual abuse

       Inappropriate interest in or knowledge of sexual acts

       Seductive behavior

       Reluctance or refusal to undress in front of others

       Extra aggression or, at the other end of the spectrum, extra compliance

       Fear of a particular person or family member

       emotional abuse

       Belittling or shaming the child: name-calling, making negative comparisons to others, telling the child he or she is no good," "worthless," "a mistake."

       Habitual blaming: telling the child that everything is his or her fault.

       Ignoring or disregarding the child

       Lack of affection and warmth: Failure to hug, praise, express love for the child



Physical Neglect

       Failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or hygiene

       Reckless disregard for the childs safety, such as inattention to hazards in the home,

       drunk driving with kids in the car, leaving a baby unattended

       Refusal to provide or delay in providing necessary health care for the child

       Abandoning children without providing for their care or expelling children from the home

       without arranging for their care

Educational Neglect

       Failure to enroll a child in school

       Permitting or causing a child to miss too many days of school

       Refusal to follow up on obtaining services for a childs special educational needs

Emotional Neglect

       Inadequate nurturing or affection

       Exposure of the child to spousal abuse

       Permitting a child to drink alcohol or use recreational drugs

       Failure to intervene when the child demonstrates antisocial behavior

       Refusal of or delay in providing necessary psychological care


  1.  What are three factors educators should consider around the issue of touching students?

Also, appearances!:  e.g. Repeated one-to-one contact with an individual student.


  1.  What are three actions by educators that are common trouble areas and/or likely to lead to discipline against the educator when it comes to improper touch or relationships with students?


  1. Neglect is perhaps the most common of all abuse. List three types of neglect and some possible descriptors (manifestations) that a teacher might observe for each?


RESOURCES for this quiz and for future reference are on the next page; please save:  This is a link to DOH's publications on child abuse/neglect, including a 24 page document on mandatory reporting duty.  This page has a video presentation, introduced by Gov. Gregoire, called "Mandatory Reporter's Video".


Landau, Barbara McEwan. (2004). The Art of Classroom Management: Building Equitable Learning Communities. Pearson Education.  Chapter 9.