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These articles are designed for general informational purposes. These articles should not be construed as, or substituted for, formal legal advice. Additionally, these articles are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship where none had already existed, or alter the scope of any existing attorney-client relationship.

Guidelines for Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse

Education Code section 48987 (“Section 48987”) requires Local Education Agencies (“LEA’s”) to distribute to parents, upon request, Guidelines for recognizing and reporting child abuse.  The California Department of Education has issued Guidelines for LEA’s to disseminate to parents. 

The Guidelines are located at the following web address: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/ap/childabusereporting.asp.
In addition, this web page contains available translations of the guidelines: http://inet2.cde.ca.gov/cmd/translatedparentaldoc.aspx?docid=8615-8618

The statute does not provide any specific timeline by which LEA’s must provide the Guidelines, but it appears that the obligation only arises upon parent request.  It may, however, be best practice to include the Guidelines in annual notifications pursuant to Education Code section 48980.

Section 48987 also “encourages” LEA’s to inform parents of the procedures for filing a child abuse complaint with law enforcement when a parent desires to file a complaint of child abuse against a school employee or other person.  In any oral communications with parents regarding any of these issues, LEA’s must provide a translator for parents whose primary language is not English.

LEA’s may wish to adopt Board Policies and/or Administrative Regulations regarding these requirements.  Kingsley Bogard can assist with creating such policies and regulations.

This information is not intended to substitute for legal advice.  If you have specific questions about this topic, please contact our office.

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