presented by Antonio Garcia, MSW, PhD
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Antonio Garcia, MSW, PhD
Dr. Antonio Garcia's research is informed by his experience as a former Child Protective Services worker and supervisor in Washington State. Having broad interdisciplinary training in psychology, Spanish, social work, and services research, he is committed to effectively engaging community stakeholders to shrink the child welfare research-to-practice gap. Since he joined the School of Social…Read full bio
1. Defining Child Abuse and Neglect
A brief history of child welfare and how the state of Pennsylvania handles or triages different types of cases will be discussed in Chapter 1. As mandated reporters, participants will learn what abuse entails and the different types of abuse to screen for. This chapter will also cover exclusions to abuse—or types of incidents that would not be considered abuse. The information will help provide participants the knowledge and self-efficacy to report suspected abuse.
2. Recognizing Indicators and Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect
Chapter 2 will focus on recognizing indicators and risk of child abuse and neglect. While interacting with children and families, knowing indicators will increase participants’ confidence in knowing when to make a report to the child abuse hotline. Ms. Jessica Merson, a current Department of Human Services worker in the state of Pennsylvania, will join the conversation to share some of her experiences regarding her efforts to ensure child safety, permanency, and well-being. This chapter contains an addendum covering Act 54 of 2018 updates, including mandatory notification of substance exposed infants by health care providers and creation of a plan of safe care.
3. Panel Convenes to Recognize Indicators and Risk Factors of Child Abuse and Neglect
Chapter 3 connects the dots between what we learned in Chapters 1 and 2 by showcasing what typically happens behind the scenes when a report is made to the hotline. A panel of child welfare experts will be asked to assess an alleged report of abuse and neglect, and weigh in on the following: 1) indicators of child abuse and neglect, and 2) risk factors that suggest abuse may occur in the future.
4. Reporting Suspected Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect
This chapter focuses on what to do when reporting is warranted due to the presence of indicators and risk factors for child abuse and neglect. Differences between permissive versus mandated reporters, whether or not suspected abuse should be reported during privileged communications, and the process for reporting will be discussed.
5. Illustrating the Reporting Process
In Chapter 5, participants will have an opportunity to gain insight into what information is needed to make a report of suspected abuse online. Information gathered from the case study introduced in Chapter 3 will be used to illustrate the reporting process.
6. Protections, Penalties, and Rights as Mandated Reporters
Participants have learned how to screen for indicators and risk factors for abuse, and know how to report those concerns when abuse or neglect is suspected. This last chapter focuses on protections and rights for mandated reporters, and penalties for not reporting abuse. As a mandated reporter, it is imperative to know what your rights and responsibilities are.
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