Everyone has a role to play in keeping children safe. When you believe a child may have been abused or neglected, you may need to inform someone other than a child welfare worker and/or police.
If your employer or professional association has a protocol and/or guidelines for reporting abuse and neglect, it may direct you to inform other people such as a manager, supervisor, director or superintendent in the organization. Protocols help ensure that information is shared in a timely and appropriate way.
High Impact or Multiple Victim Cases
Collaboration is critically important in cases where there are, or may be, multiple child victims, or where an offense against a child will otherwise have an extraordinary impact on the community.
If you become aware of such a case, follow your local protocols and/ or guidelines to determine which ministries or agencies should be immediately notified to ensure an effective, coordinated response.
Information sharing is also key in these cases. Everyone involved in the collaborative response will need to continue sharing relevant and updated information while the issues are resolved.
If You Suspect Child Abuse or Neglect by a Service Provider
If you have reason to believe a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected by an employee, contractor, service provider or volunteer in an agency or organization, contact the agency or organization to ensure that the appropriate person is informed and is able to respond according to their mandate. Ultimately, this responsibility rests with the head of the agency or organization. You may also contact a child welfare worker and discuss the situation.
If you are not sure whom to notify, review your organization’s protocols and/or guidelines. The child welfare worker can help you ensure the information gets to the right place.
If you believe a criminal offence may have occurred, call the police.