Child Abuse Reporting, Standards of Conduct Reporting, & Media Protection Policies

 

Reporting Child Abuse

Signs of Physical Abuse

The child may have unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or other injuries; broken bones; or burns. A child experiencing physical abuse may seem withdrawn or depressed, seem afraid to go home or may run away, shy away from physical contact, be aggressive, or wear inappropriate clothing to hide injuries.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

The child may have torn, stained or bloody underwear, trouble walking or sitting, pain or itching in genital area, or a sexually transmitted disease. A child experiencing sexual abuse may have unusual knowledge of sex or act seductively, fear a particular person, seem withdrawn or depressed, gain or lose weight suddenly, shy away from physical contact, or run away from home.

Signs of Neglect

The child may have unattended medical needs, little or no supervision at home, poor hygiene, or appear underweight. A child experiencing neglect may be frequently tired or hungry, steal food, or appear overly needy for adult attention.

Patterns of Abuse

Serious abuse usually involves a combination of factors. While a single sign may not be significant, a pattern of physical or behavioral signs is a serious indicator and should be reported.

Liability Protections

Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in any act authorized or required by law, or reporting in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the department or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action. (F.S. 39.203)

An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under F.S. Chapter 760. (F.S. 768.095)

 

Reporting Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect

Abuse Hotline

Report Abuse Online

TEL: 1-800-962-2873
TTY: 711 or 1-800-955-8771
FAX: 1-800-914-0004

The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Please use the links below to report a child or adult abuse.

If you suspect or know of a child or vulnerable adult in immediate danger, call 911.

Any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare is a mandatory reporter. § 39.201(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

 

Florida Statutes:

  • 1006.061, Florida Statutes – Child abuse, abandonment, and neglect policy
  • 1012.315, Florida Statutes – Disqualification from employment
  • 1012.795, Florida Statutes – Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline
  • 1012.796, Florida Statutes – Complaints against teachers and administrators; procedure; penalties
  • 1012.798, Florida Statutes – Recovery network program for educators
  • 1012.799, Florida Statutes – Reporting certain offenses

To report an allegation in Spanish or Creole, please call 1-800-962-2873, for TTY use 711 or 1-800-955-8771.  This toll free number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with counselors waiting to assist you.

ATTENTION:
Some reporters need to know whether allegations have been accepted for investigation. This information is only available by calling in your report and speaking directly to a Hotline counselor. The on-line process will indicate successful submission of your report; however, it cannot provide information concerning the outcome of a Hotline assessment and should not be used if you need verbal confirmation about your report.

Español/Spanish:

Si usted es un locutor español y desea divulgar abuso, llame por favor el teléfono directo en 1-800-962-2873 para hablar con un consejero de habla hispana.

 

Kreyol/Creole:

Pou rapé enfomayson en Kreyol, tanpri rele numero 1-800-962-2873, telefonn pou le soud rele 1-800-453-5145.  Numero toll gratis sa disponsib 24 le de jou, 7 jou pa semén avék konsye kap tann pou edé ou.

All employees and agents have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Call 1-800-96-ABUSE or report online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/.

 

Abuse Hotline

How to Report

Telephone: 800-962-2873

Florida Relay 711

TTY: 800-955-8771

This toll free number is available 24/7; counselors are waiting to assist you.

TELEPHONE

Call 800-962-2873.

Phone Options

Press 1 to report suspected abuse, neglect or abandonment of a child

Press 2 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly or a vulnerable adult

Press 3 to verify the identity of a child protective investigator who recently visited you

Press 4 for information/referrals to other services in your local area.

Be prepared to provide specific descriptions of the incident(s) or the circumstances contributing to the risk of harm, including who was involved, what occurred, when and where it occurred, why it happened, the extent of any injuries sustained, what the victim(s) said happened, and any other pertinent information are very important. Information callers should have ready includes:

  • Name, date of birth (or approximate age), race, and gender, for all adults and children involved.
  • Addresses or another means to locate the subjects of the report, including current location.
  • Information regarding disabilities and/or limitations of the victims (especially for vulnerable adult victims).
  • Relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the child or adult victim(s).
  • Other relevant information that would expedite an investigation, such as directions to the victim (especially in rural areas) and potential risks to the investigator, should be given to the Abuse Hotline Counselor.

For a complete list of information please see the What We Need to Know page.

FAX

To make a report, via fax, please send a detailed written report with your name and contact telephone or FAX contact information using the Florida Abuse Hotline’s fax reporting form to:
800-914-0004.

Tips for Successful Fax Reporting

This form is available in PDF Format, (requires that you use Adobe Acrobat to view and print).

WEB REPORTING:

Web reporting should not be used for situations requiring immediate attention. Please contact the Hotline’s toll free reporting number if you believe a child or vulnerable adult is at imminent risk of harm.

To make a report via the Florida Abuse Hotline’s web reporting option, please gather all of your information in advance and click the following link to access the web reporting option:

Report abuse online

NOTIFICATION OF REPORT:

  • Telephone reporters will always be told prior to concluding your conversation, whether the information provided has been accepted as a report.

Please do not fax multiple allegations of abuse or neglect for multiple families at a time. By submitting them one at a time, they will likely get processed faster.

 

 

 

Standards of Ethical Conduct 

(adapted from the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida and Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida)

Our school values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.

Our primary concern is the student and the development of the student’s potential. Employees will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.

Principles of Professional Conduct for the

Education Profession in Florida

Rule 6A-10.081, Florida Administrative Code, Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida.

(1) Florida educators shall be guided by the following ethical principles:

(a) The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.

(b) The educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.

(c) Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.

(2) Florida educators shall comply with the following disciplinary principles. Violation of any of these principles shall subject the individual to revocation or suspension of the individual educator’s certificate, or the other penalties as provided by law.

(a) Obligation to the student requires that the individual:

  1. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
  2. Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
  3. Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
  4. Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program.
  5. Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
  6. Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.
  7. Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.
  8. Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
  9. Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.

(b) Obligation to the public requires that the individual:

  1. Shall take reasonable precautions to distinguish between personal views and those of any educational institution or organization with which the individual is affiliated.
  2. Shall not intentionally distort or misrepresent facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression.
  3. Shall not use institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.
  4. Shall accept no gratuity, gift, or favor that might influence professional judgment.
  5. Shall offer no gratuity, gift, or favor to obtain special advantages.

(c) Obligation to the profession of education requires that the individual:

  1. Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
  2. Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
  3. Shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities.
  4. Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
  5. Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
  6. Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues.
  7. Shall not misrepresent one’s own professional qualifications.
  8. Shall not submit fraudulent information on any document in connection with professional activities.
  9. Shall not make any fraudulent statement or fail to disclose a material fact in one’s own or another’s application for a professional position.
  10. Shall not withhold information regarding a position from an applicant or misrepresent an assignment or conditions of employment.
  11. Shall provide upon the request of the certificated individual a written statement of specific reason for recommendations that lead to the denial of increments, significant changes in employment, or termination of employment.
  12. Shall not assist entry into or continuance in the profession of any person known to be unqualified in accordance with these Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and other applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.
  13. Shall self-report within forty-eight (48) hours to appropriate authorities (as determined by district) any arrests/charges involving the abuse of a child or the sale and/or possession of a controlled substance. Such notice shall not be considered an admission of guilt nor shall such notice be admissible for any purpose in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory. In addition, shall self-report any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendere for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment. When handling sealed and expunged records disclosed under this rule, school districts shall comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 943.0585(4)(c) and 943.059(4)(c), F.S.
  14. Shall report to appropriate authorities any known allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.
  15. Shall seek no reprisal against any individual who has reported any allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), F.S.
  16. Shall comply with the conditions of an order of the Education Practices Commission imposing probation, imposing a fine, or restricting the authorized scope of practice.
  17. Shall, as the supervising administrator, cooperate with the Education Practices Commission in monitoring the probation of a subordinate.

Training Requirement

All instructional personnel and administrators are required as a condition of employment to complete training on these standards of ethical conduct.

Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators

All employees and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to:

Cathy Bicksler: 561-906-8624

Email: cathy@providence-education.org

Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to:

Cathy Bicksler: 561-906-8624

Email: cathy@providence-education.org

Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services.

Procedures for Reporting Misconduct

Procedures for Reporting the Misconduct of Providence Education Group, LLS Staff which affects the health, safety and welfare of a student:

  1. Report the incident immediately to the Providence Education Group Administrator, (561-222-7947) and/or Cathy Bicksler, Director (561-906-8624)
  1. The School Administrator or Director will notify the proper authorities.
  1. The School Director and/or the School Administrator will notify the parents of the child. Providence Education Group, LLC Staff has:
  •  A duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
  • Immunity from any liability when such reports are made in good faith.
  •  A duty to comply with the child protective investigations and all provisions of law relating to child abuse and neglect. Failure to report abuse or misconduct: Possible penalties for School Instructional Personnel or Administrators who fail to report misconduct may include: written reprimand, suspension with or without pay, termination of contract, and Discipline/Sanctions on an educator’s certificate.

Providence Education Group is committed each and every student’s success. We have listed below the mission and vision of our school.

 

Mission:  Equipping students to become independent learners and creative thinkers who grow into responsible, productive citizens in a global society.

Vision:  To provide a learning environment that supports a personalized educational plan that fosters a love of learning, embraces a balanced life, and values a strong work ethic to successfully launch students into college and career.

 

Media Protection & Internal Policies

 

Securing media hard copy criminal history results from unauthorized access/procedures:

 

  1. All hard copy criminal history results will be filed in a fire proof, locked filing cabinet in the Director’s locked closet in a locked file cabinet which is in the locked, restricted   The office is accessed only by authorized personnel. All others are escorted. Only Authorized staff are permitted in the secured office where background checks are stored.
  2. Only authorized personnel are permitted to access the hard copy criminal history results.
  3. Delivery of all criminal history checks are printed directly from the website and NOT stored electronically. The record is printed and filed in the secure room in the locked file cabinet.
  4. All disposal of criminal records will occur by shredding before recycling and it will be witnessed by  Authorized Personnel.
  5. Unauthorized requests, receipt, release, interception, dissemination, or discussion of Criminal Justice information could result in criminal prosecution and/or termination of employment.

 

  • All staff is prohibited from confidentiality agreements regarding instructional personnel or school administrators who are terminated, dismissed, or resign based on misconduct and prohibit the provision of employment references without disclosing the misconduct.  {In accordance with section 1002.421(1)(n)}