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Safety Solutions

911 or ChildLine?

Posted by John Baker on Jan 12, 2018 4:24:00 PM

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We all know that 911 is  called to report a crime in progress. ChildLine on the other hand is used to report suspected child abuse. The two have two very distinctly different functions. So the answer to the title question is if you believe a child is in imminent danger and the police need to respond to stop it, call 911 THEN as soon as practical report what you know to ChildLine.

Your obligation as a mandatory reporter according to Pennsylvania law does not stop just because you dialed 911. As a mandatory reporter you are not permitted to delegate your personal responsibility to that child. Once you believe child abuse is occurring you have an unbreakable obligation to that child.

I was reminded of this fact the other day when an educator called me and shared a story:

I just got home when I heard the women in the next apartment yelling and screaming at her young child (as too she often does) and then I heard a loud "thump" followed by painful childlike screaming. I knew right away I had to do something so I dialed 911 and a few minutes later met the police in front of my building. After they left I had to ask myself "do I need to call ChildLine now or do the police take care of that?"

That's when they called me. And I am glad they did. Remember that as a mandatory reporter you are required to call ChildLine and complete a CY47 form for any suspected child abuse whether you call 911 or  whether it happens at work or in your personal life. As a mandatory reporters we are all on duty 24/7 to help protect children wherever we are.  So next time you see suspected child abuse, no matter where, no matter when and no matter if the police come or not.... call ChildLine.

I challenge you right now to pick up your cell phone and add ChildLine as a contact in your phone by entering 1-800-932-0313 that way no matter where you are when you suspect child abuse you can call and get help for that child in need.  You may very well be saving a young child's life.

This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com.

Topics: safety

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