Better training for abuse reporters

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD (WCIA)– Another high profile child death has put the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) back under the microscope. Now, a state lawmaker is asking for training to be better enforced for people who work around children.

This not only affects people who work for DCFS. Mandated reporters are people who might be around your kids everyday.

A mandated reporter is someone who is required by law to make a report of child abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services. The list of people who qualify as mandated reporters is a long one.

“Any school personnel is a mandated reporter. Whether its a teacher, coach, a principle, or the janitor at the school. They are all mandated reporters. Medical professionals as well. Doctors, nurses, anyone who has that contact with children on a regular basis,” said Kim Mangiaracino, director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois.

Senators say there is a big issue with the requirements for mandated reporters at the moment.

“Only teachers right now are required to receive training. So many employees become mandated reporters and don’t know what that means,” said Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield. Her bill would require all mandated reporters to train at the beginning of their jobs and at least every three years after.

“It’s an excellent training that covers all the topics we have been talking about it can be done online at people own convenience and I do think it’s an adequate training for mandated reporters,” said Mangiaracino.

The bill is aimed to train those required individuals who are required to report suspicions of neglect by law but anyone who sees or suspects abuse and neglect is also encourage to report it. The legislation sits in the House after it passed the Senate.

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