Mandated Reporters & Moral/Ethical Reporters: School personnel, child care personnel, and members of the clergy are mandated reporters. All school employees, catechists, youth ministers, coaches, priests, deacons, seminarians, and pastoral center and parish employees who work directly with children are required to take Mandated Reporter Training within 60 days of being hired/beginning service. Archdiocesan employees and/or volunteers who do not fall under the category of mandated reporters are moral/ethical reporters.
Who needs to be informed if a teacher, principal, or DRE (Director of Religious Education) makes a call to DCFS regarding child abuse or neglect? Following a call to DCFS, a teacher is to report the call to the principal. The principal, in turn, is to inform the pastor and fax a copy of the completed CANTS 5 form to DCFS and to his/her assistant superintendent. When a religious education instructor calls DCFS, they next inform the DRE who, in turn, notifies the pastor and the Office for Catechesis.
When does a principal, pastor, or DRE call DCFS if an allegation of abuse is made against a teacher, employee, or volunteer religious educator? Call DCFS immediately when the alleged abuse is reported or when you become aware of it. DO NOT INVESTIGATE. Any investigation done locally may interfere with the case.
Who needs to be informed when a call is placed to DCFS about sexual abuse of a cleric, employee, or volunteer? After calling DCFS, immediately call the Office for Child Abuse and Investigations and Review at 312.534.5205. A DRE then notifies the pastor (unless involved), parent (unless involved), and the Office for Catechesis. A principal notifies the pastor (unless involved), parents (unless involved), and the assistant superintendent who, in turn, notifies the superintendent of schools.
What if a report of physical abuse or neglect is made to DCFS on a pastor or principal? If the call is accepted by DCFS, the pastor or principal will be contacted directly by DCFS. The person calling in an allegation of abuse against a priest calls the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review; against a principal calls the Office for Catholic Schools; against a DRE calls the pastor and the Office for Catechesis.
What if a DCFS report is unfounded? The mandated reporter will receive in written notification from DCFS at the conclusion of the investigation. The reporter is to keep a copy for the school/parish and send a copy to the appropriate archdiocesan office: Office for Catholic Schools, Child Abuse Investigations and Review, etc. Generally, that is the end of the case. There are cases when the archdiocese follows up to look into policy or Code of Conduct violations to insure the safety of children.