Aloha Ka Kou
The Hawaii 2006 Legislation amended the Child Abuse Reporting statute that became law in June 2006. The legislated amendments call for all school staff members to report any suspicions of child abuse directly to Child Welfare Service or police rather than the past practice of reporting to the principal.
The Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting law applies to all members of the school staff. Prior to the legislated amendments, school members were defined as teachers, counselors, and school administrators.
The amended law expands the group to include all members of a school-volunteers, part-time teachers, educational assistants, classroom cleaners, custodians, cafeteria workers, and temporary contacted employees.
Now that you know who the law mandates as reporters of child abuse, let’s take you through the steps of reporting a student you believe is in danger.
First, call Child Welfare Services.
Immediately notify your school administrator of your call to Child Welfare Services.
The law states that you must complete the DHS 1516 form as completely as you can, then fax it to the Child Welfare Services Office within 5 days of your initial call.
After printing a hard copy of the completed form fax it to the Child Welfare Services Office.
You can find the form on the Department of Humans Services website: http://www.hawaii.gov/dhs/protection/social_services/child_welfare/
If you do not have access to a computer, ask your school administer for assistance. We all need to work together to keep our students safe.
Then send the original form to the Hawaii Department of Education Student Support Section via Hawaii DOE courier.
No copies will remain at your school.
If the Child Welfare Services Office informs you that your suspicions do not warrant an investigation, you still must complete the DHS 1516 form and notify your school administrator of that call.
Should Child Welfare Services personnel determine that the reported abuse to your student is critical,and needs to be reported to the police, let them know that you will relay this information to your school administrator for follow up.
The law does not compel you, to call the police if you contacted Child Welfare Services.
The amended Hawaii DOE Regulation 4200.4 does state that if the suspected abuse is sexual in nature, call Child Welfare Services and have your school administrator call the county police.
You should not interview the student. Leave the interview to the county police. They are trained to handle any suspected sexual abuse case.
We’ve talked about phone numbers, fax numbers, and websites:
I’d like to review them with you,
The Child Welfare Services Office phone number on Oahu is 832-5300.
For the Neighbor Islands call toll free 1-800-494-3991
You will find DHS 1516 Form on the Department of Human Services
For more information about Hawaii Revised Statute, Chapter 350, please call, Hawaii Department of Education, Student Support Section at 808- 735-6225.