On September 29, 2014, California Governor Brown signed AB 1432 into law. This bill requires the State Department of Education to develop and disseminate training on recognizing signs of child abuse for mandated reporters. It also requires school personnel to be trained annually within 6 weeks of the start of the school year or new employment. This is another important step toward protecting our children!
AB 1432, Gatto. Mandated child abuse reporting: school employees: training.
The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, which includes a teacher or one of certain other types of school employees, to report whenever he or she, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or has observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Existing law requires the State Department of Education to develop staff development seminars and any other appropriate means of instructing school personnel in the detection of child abuse and neglect and the proper action that school personnel should take in suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. Existing law requires school districts that do not train their employees in the duties of mandated reporters under the child abuse reporting laws to report to the State Department of Education the reasons why this training is not provided.
This bill would require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services, to develop and disseminate information to all school districts, county offices of education, state special schools and diagnostic centers operated by the State Department of Education, and charter schools, and their school personnel in California, regarding the detection and reporting of child abuse, to provide statewide guidance on the responsibilities of mandated reporters, and to develop appropriate means of instructing school personnel in the detection of child abuse and neglect and the proper action that school personnel should take in suspected cases of child abuse and neglect, including, but not limited to, an online training module to be provided by the State Department of Social Services.
The bill would require school districts, county offices of education, state special schools and diagnostic centers operated by the State Department of Education, and charter schools to do both of the following: (1) annually train, using the online training module provided by the State Department of Social Services, or other training, as specified, employees and persons working on their behalf who are mandated reporters on the mandated reporting requirements, as specified; and (2) develop a process for all persons required to receive training under the bill to provide proof of completing this training within the first 6 weeks of each school year or within 6 weeks of that person’s employment. By imposing these additional duties on local educational agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.