• Any person who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of abuse or neglect must report (Ann. Code § 31-33-5-1).
• A report is required when any person has reason to believe that a child is a victim of abuse or neglect (Ann. Code §§ 31-33-5-1; 31-33-5-2)
What does that mean? It means that as an adult you have a duty, obligation and legal responsibility to contact the Department of Child Services if you have concern that a child is being mistreated or is in an unsafe situation.
There are many signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, some very obvious (i.e. bruises, soiled clothing) and some not so obvious (i.e. anger, “too perfect” behavior). It is not your responsibility to determine if the child is or has been abused or neglected. You are not required to provide proof of child abuse or neglect. Just call the Department of Child Services to anonymously report your concerns…immediately!
Child abuse and neglect continues to occur in our community because adults refuse to take action to protect children. Don’t be one of those adults. Make a conscious choice to protect the children in your care and in your community:
• Ask daycares, schools and organizations that your children attend if they have clear reporting procedures and sexual abuse prevention policies in place.
• Support legislation that protects children.
• Attend a Stewards of Children training to learn how to protect children from child sexual abuse (visit http://www.mccoyouth.org/ or call 317-921-1233 to learn about upcoming trainings).
• Contacting Prevent Child Abuse to learn more about prevention efforts in your community (http://www.pcain.org/ or 317-775-6439).