School-Based Child Abuse Designee
In order to facilitate reporting, the principal of every school is required to appoint someone to serve as a Child Abuse Designee (VIDEO CLIP). The responsibilities of the designee shall include:
- To be familiar with Florida’s child abuse law (F.S. 39)
- To be a resource to the school principal and other school personnel in his/her school to identify child abuse and neglect, and to facilitate the reporting process
- To provide support services to teachers and school personnel who must deal with abused/neglected or abandoned children in the school setting
- To act as a liaison with Child Abuse Services and the School Social Work and Attendance Department, serve as a consultant in identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect, and provide additional training to school staff when needed
- To have a working relationship with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Investigations Section, staff responsible for receiving and investigating reports, and to facilitate feedback between the school and BSO
- To be familiar with community resources and to have a directory available to facilitate community referrals for students and parents.
The Child Abuse Designee is usually not a classroom-based staff member as there is a need to be readily accessible to all staff at the school. The designee is someone to whom students can go to discuss how they are feeling about what’s happening to them. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance.