Staff members of Wabash Christin Therapy & Medical Clinic attended a training provided by The Guardian Center, Inc. and presented by Katharine Bovenkerk, Forensic Interviewer/Prevention Specialist. Katharine’s presentation was Mandated Reporter Training. It is aimed at reaching the 7 groups (Medical Personnel, School Personnel, Clergy, Social/ Mental health Personal, Law Enforcement, Coroners and Child Care Personnel) who are Mandated Reporters under the ANCRA law to help them understand their role and responsibilities as such.
Each professional who sees children in their line of work is a Mandated Reporter and is thus required to immediately make a report to the Illinois Hotline (1 800 252-2873) as part of their duties when there is a SUSPICION of abuse or neglect by a caregiver to that child.
Reporters should not ask leading questions before making a report and should focus on the basics: who, what, when, where, if the child has made a disclosure to the reporter.
Once an investigation has begun after the Hotline is accepted, a local Department of Child and Family Services worker will then be dispatched to do their investigation, which includes checking on the child, bringing the child to a Children’s Advocacy Center for a child- sensitive interview and then following up with interviews of the alleged perpetrator(s). Not all cases are the same, but most cases will have an “unfounded” or “indicated” decision from the worker within 60 days of the initial report. The reporter will then be notified of the indicated or unfounded outcome of that report, if their name is listed as the reporter.
The role of the Mandated Reporter is not to investigate at any point in the case, from their initial report to the close of the case. Reporters must allow DCFS to do their job and make a finding on the allegation in question. If the finding is not one the reporter agrees with, the reporter will have 10 days from the date of case closure to appeal a decision through their DCFS office.
If you are interested in having Katharine speak to you, your staff or a group, she may be reached at The Guardian Center, Inc. 1124 Oak Street, Carmi IL 62821. Phone 618-382-8247. https://www.theguardiancenter.org/
Wabash Christian Therapy & Medical Clinic provides Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy to all ages. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 618-382-2927