REPORTING CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT
In the event that any employee, contract staff, student intern, or volunteer of Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc. becomes aware of child abuse or neglect, of a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of a child, shall immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to County Children’s Services agency in the county where the abuse was reported, or the other appropriate agency responsible for the protection of children , including a municipal or county peace officer in the county in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect is occurring or has occurred. The report may be given by telephone, and shall be followed by a written report. The report will include the names and addresses of the child and parents or the person or persons having custody of the child, the child’s age, the name and address of the purported offender if available, nature of the abuse or neglect including type, extent, duration, and approximate date(s) of the incident(s), circumstances regarding the abuse or neglect, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse, or neglect, the child’s current condition, and other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the known or suspected injury, abuse, or neglect or the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect. This will be done whenever child abuse or neglect is known, suspected, or reported. Client confidentiality, in these cases, is not applicable to reporting child abuse or neglect; however, client information regarding treatment and treatment-related issues not related to the reported incident is protected from unauthorized release.
Reporting of External Abuse or Neglect
Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc. views the abuse or neglect of vulnerable clients (this includes children, elderly persons, and handicapped adults) an extremely serious matter. Statutorily, all professionals aware of child abuse or neglect are required to report such abuse or neglect to Children’s Services Board or applicable police/sheriffs department. It is the position of Mid-Ohio Psychological Service, Inc. that all abuse of handicapped or elderly adults shall be reported to the Department of Human Services, Division of Adult Protective Services or the Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, (depending on the handicap or intellectual functioning level of the client), for the purposes of investigation.
Failure to report child or adult abuse or neglect may result in a number of punitive actions including termination of employment and professional sanctions. The following procedure is to be followed for reporting:
- Contact the appropriate agency as outlined above.
- Record the date, to whom and the response of the reporting of said issue in the case note.
- Verbal report to agency followed up within 24 hours with a written report, using the Major Unusual Incident Report Form and the Allegations of Child Abuse Form to the sheriff or police department in jurisdiction of client residence, ODMH or ODADAS, and to child protective services agency, Department of Human Services or county Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Board if appropriate (if client is an adult). Written report will include a space and request for response from the agency to whom reported within 30 days of the date of report.
It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to assure that the staff is familiarized and comply with this policy.
Reporting of Internal Abuse or Neglect
Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc. views the physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect of clients by employees, contract staff, student interns, and volunteers an extremely serious matter. Any personnel witnessing or having knowledge of a suspected abuse or neglect incident by other staff persons shall report such information to the administration of the agency. All allegations of this nature will then be reported in writing, utilizing the Major And Unusual Incident Form and MUI Narrative Form, by the Executive Director to the Mental Health Services Board for the county in which the client resides and OMHAS within 1 working day of receiving the allegation. Immediate steps must be taken by the agency to assure the personal safety and well being of the client. This includes, but is not limited to, acquiring different residential placements for clients in foster home or other supervised housing situations, re-assignment of therapists, etc.
In the event that the client is a child, the incident must also be immediately reported to the Children’s Services Board where the abuse occurred, which shall assume primary responsibility for conducting the investigation.
All reports of adult abuse shall be reported to the staff of the Mental Health Services Board for the county in which the client resides, the Adult Protective Services agency serving the location of the alleged abuse and OMHAS. In dealing administratively with this class of case, charges may be sustained against the employee if the offense is reasonably established on the evidence. It is not necessary that a finding of abuse be based on proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, as prevails in court determinants. The trust resting in Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc. for the care of clients is such that charges of abuse must be sustained if the fact of such abuse is reasonably shown by the evidence as a whole pertaining to the case. Employees, contract staff, student interns and volunteers who are found to neglect or abuse clients will be reported to the appropriate professional regulatory boards and law enforcement authorities where applicable.
It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to assure that the staff is familiarized and comply with this policy and each staff member will be provided a copy of this policy.