Professional Semester Handbook

Professional Semester Handbook
PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY
PROFESSIONAL SEMESTER
HANDBOOK
2015-2016
Office of Teacher Education
110 Hughes Hall
http://www.pittstate.edu/college/education/teacher-education/
Table of Contents
Page
Welcome
Introduction
Expectations of Professional Behavior
1
2
3
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Dispositions
Academic Integrity
Code of Student’s Rights and Responsibilities
Confidentiality
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Student Teacher as a Substitute
4
4
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Attendance
5
 Professional Use of Technology
 Dress Code
Professional Responsibilities
Preparing for the Professional Semester
The Professional Semester
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Outside Activities/Classes During Professional Semester
Phases of the Professional Semester
Coursework
Major Assignments
Performance Evaluations
 Observation and Evaluation Timeline
 Suggested Timeline for Professional Semester
The Professional Semester Team
Suggestions for Student Teaching Dilemmas
Dealing with Issues involving Student Teachers
Responsibilities of the Professional Semester Team
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The Student Teacher
Frequent Questions & Answers of Student Teachers
 The Cooperating Teacher
 Frequent Questions & Answers of Cooperating Teachers
 The University Supervisor
Licensing
 Associated Licensure Fees
 Praxis II Testing Information
APPENDIX
3
3
4
6
7
8
9
10
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
21
23
24
26
27
27
27
Professional Knowledge Base
Kansas Educator Code of Conduct
1
3
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Guide to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
5
6
Welcome
Welcome to your professional semester at Pittsburg State University. This semester is designed to be a
culminating experience to help you become a professional educator. As a candidate in teacher
education, you have completed all of the requirements that provide the content knowledge and
pedagogical skills that you will need in order to begin your professional semester. This semester will
provide you with an opportunity to practice, reflect and build upon your knowledge and skills in a
supportive environment. You will have the opportunity to perform many of the duties and to make
many of the instructional decisions of a classroom teacher.
You may experience many gratifying as well as many difficult days as the semester progresses. The
work load will be heavy and intense at times, but the semester has been carefully designed to help you
grow into a professional educator. This experience will offer you many opportunities for professional
growth if you keep an open mind, positive attitude and do your best work. You should set realistic
goals and strive to meet them. It is our belief that a successful professional semester experience
depends on a solid partnership among the student teacher, cooperating teacher and university
supervisor, so keep the lines of communication open. Do not be afraid to ask questions and seek
advice from others.
We are proud of all you have accomplished to date and expect you to be very successful as you work
toward your goal of becoming a professional educator.
Sincerely,
The Office of Teacher Education Staff
Phone: (620) 235-4489
E-mail: teachered@pittstate.edu
Dr. Jean Dockers
Director of Teacher Education
jdockers@pittstate.edu
Amanda Hill
Educational Licensure Officer/Placement Coordinator
ahill@pittstate.edu
Steve Brown
Assistant Coordinator for Assessment/PLT Study Assistance
sjbrown@pittstate.edu
Crickett Moore
Administrative Specialist
crickett.moore@pittstate.edu
1
Introduction
During the professional semester, it is understood that student teachers are trying, applying and expanding
on professional knowledge, skills and understanding gained during initial coursework and learning new
knowledge, skills and understanding under the direction of a licensed/certified and successful classroom
teacher. Teacher candidates come to the professional semester having had diverse experiences in multiple
classrooms and working with students in a variety of settings. These experiences have prepared you to be
a student teacher.
The professional semester is a field-based experience that spans an entire semester. Student teachers will
be assigned to an area PK-12 school in your designated field with an experienced teacher. Cooperating
teachers are licensed in the state in which they teach and have a minimum of three years teaching
experience. They are identified by the administrator as a teacher who exhibits all the characteristics and
skills of a highly qualified, master teacher and who has a desire to mentor a student teacher.
2
Expectations for Professional Behavior
Professionalism is described as being ‘distinguished from an amateur’. As a teacher candidate, you are
more than a student; you are entering the teaching profession. As a teacher candidate at PSU, you will be
interacting with and teaching in school classrooms. It is important to behave professionally at all times as
you are making an impression at the school and do not know who will notice and/or remember you. You
will be representing PSU, your academic department, and yourself as a future teacher. If you choose to
not follow the expectations for professional behavior, consequences could be imposed.
Dispositions
As you move into the role of the professional educator, be aware that there are dispositions that great
teachers embody. Some of these dispositions include, but are not limited to: dependability, fairness,
consistency, positive demeanor, belief in all students’ ability to learn, ethical behavior, self-evaluation and
reflection, effective communication, and respect for all cultures and differences of others. These
dispositions are all part of the Professional Knowledge Base; and you will be evaluated on these
throughout your professional semester by your cooperating teacher(s) and university supervisor. The
Professional Knowledge Base is included in the Appendix.
It is vital to remember that you are a guest in the classroom and the school. You are a guest of the
cooperating teacher. You may disagree with a teacher’s and/or principal’s teaching or communication
style but unless someone is hurt by abusive actions, you must refrain from criticism and remain
professional and polite at all times. If you have concerns or want tips on how to deal with the issue, talk
with your university supervisor. DO NOT EVER discuss these concerns with other teachers or staff,
friends or on social network sites. Also, refrain from expressing negative perceptions about a previous
experience, clinical supervisor, principal or school.
Academic Integrity
Education at the university level requires intellectual integrity and trust between faculty and students.
Professors are obliged to master their subject and present as fair an account of it as possible. For their
part, students are obliged to make an honest effort to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of course
requirements. Academic dishonesty violates both integrity and trust. It jeopardizes the effectiveness of
the educational process and the reliability of publicly reported records of achievement.
Academic dishonesty by a student is defined as unethical activity associated with course work or grades.
It includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations,
(b) Giving or receiving unauthorized aid in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports, papers
or any other assignments,
(c) Submitting the same work for more than one course without the instructor’s permission, and,
3
(d) Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as using ideas or writings of another and claiming them as
one’s own. Copying any material directly (be it the work of other students, professors, or
colleagues) or copying information from print or electronic sources (including the internet)
without explicitly acknowledging the true source of the material is plagiarism. Plagiarism also
includes paraphrasing another individuals’ ideas or concepts without acknowledging their
work, or contribution. To avoid charges of plagiarism, students should follow the citation
directions provided by the instructor and/or department in which the class is offered.
Unless otherwise stated by the instructor, exams, quizzes, and out-of-class assignments are meant to be
individual, rather than group, work. Hence, copying from other students’ quizzes or exams, as well as
presenting as one’s own work an assignment prepared wholly or in part by another is in violation of
academic honesty.
The above is an excerpt of the university Academic Integrity policy. For the full policy, go to online
university catalog under Student Rights and Responsibilities. (http://catalog.pittstate.edu/)
Code of Student’s Rights and Responsibilities
The PSU Code of Student’s Rights and Responsibilities can be found at:
http://www.pittstate.edu/audiences/current-students/policies/rights-and-responsibilities/
Confidentiality
Confidentiality in all situations is required. Professional discussions may give you access to student
and/or school information. It is important that this information be used with integrity in a professional
manner and remain confidential. In other words, do not talk about the students, teachers, or administrators
from your cooperating school(s) in any public forum including, but not limited to, restaurants, social
media, electronic communication and the teachers’ lounge. Candidates must adhere to Family Education
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
(HIPAA) guidelines at all times.
Student Teacher as a Substitute
Kansas state regulation (KSDE 91-19-6 e) and Pittsburg State University College of Education policy do
not allow student teachers to fill any position except for those duties designated within the Student
Teaching Certificate issued by the Office of Teacher Education in conjunction with KSDE. It is
imperative that student teachers not be placed in a situation that is contrary to state regulations or puts the
school and student teacher in a liable situation. The regulation states “certified student teachers shall be
prohibited from serving as regular or substitute teachers in Kansas-accredited or Kansas-approved
educational agencies.”
Note: This does not mean that you cannot be left alone in your classroom and/or with your students for
periods of time.
4
Attendance
An important part of being a professional person is time management. You are expected to be at the
school during your scheduled times. If you are ill, have been in an accident, or have a family emergency,
contact your cooperating teacher and your university supervisor to report your absence. Any
extracurricular activities should not interfere with your scheduled time at your placement.
Excused Absences from Campus Seminars
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Weather: snow, ice, flood (if roads are closed)
Death of immediate family member
Illness – Self or others in immediate family – Doctor excuse required
Court appearances/Jury duty
Participation in university activities if member of a team or group: track meets, concert tours, etc.
National conferences if approved by the cooperating teacher, university supervisor and Director of Teacher
Education
*MAY NOT MISS CAMPUS SEMINARS for Parent/Teacher conferences, field trips, or other school functions
Procedures to Follow if Campus Seminar Must Be Missed
1. Call your university supervisor before 8:45 a.m.
2. If you do not reach the supervisor, leave a voice message and a number where you can be reached
(NO e-mail messages or text messages)
3. Failure to comply with this policy will result in a consequence determined by the Director of Teacher
Education.
Excused Absences from School
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Death of immediate family member
Illness – Self or others in immediate family – Doctor excuse required
Court appearances/Jury duty
Participation in university activities (same as above)
National conferences if approved by cooperating teacher, university supervisor and Director of Teacher
Education
Procedure to Follow if School Must Be Missed
1. Notify the cooperating teacher by phone (don’t email or text) as early as possible
2. Call the Principal’s Office
3. Call your university supervisor (NO e-mail messages or text messages)
If more than 5 days of absence (excused or unexcused) are accumulated, a consequence determined by the
Director of Teacher Education will be implemented.
Failure to comply with the above procedures will put your professional semester completion in jeopardy.
5
Professional Use of Technology
Appropriate use of technology is an important factor of professional behavior. Due to the fact that you
will be interacting with children who will be curious about you, you must make good, professional
choices about the content of personal webpages and social networking sites. By choosing the field of
education, you have placed yourself in the public eye. Therefore, awareness of your public persona is
important. You should expect a degree of public scrutiny. With this in mind, some basic guidelines have
been provided for you.
Social network sites or personal webpages
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Be aware of your online identity and how it may be perceived by others (including potential
employers).
Check photos (even the backgrounds) to make sure that all content is appropriate. This includes
pictures of yourself that may be posted to another’s page.
Remember you have a right to privacy; you should exercise this right. Use the privacy settings
available to you.
The students in your assigned classroom (or school) ARE NOT your friends; do not initiate or
confirm any friendship requests on Facebook, do not allow students to “follow” you on Twitter,
etc.
DO NOT post or blog about your cooperating teacher, students, and/or school.
DO NOT use Facebook or other social network sites during school hours.
Email
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Change inappropriate email tags (i.e. sexybaby@hotmail.com).
DO NOT give students or parents your private email address.
Consider creating a separate email address for your professional interactions. When you become a
classroom teacher, the school will provide one to you.
Phones
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Students should NOT be provided your personal phone number.
DO NOT use your phone during school visits (texting, internet browsing, using apps, etc.).
DO NOT take any pictures with your phone while in a school or at a school-related event.
6
Dress Code
Your manner of dress will need to reflect appropriateness for your chosen profession. You are being
provided with guidelines that will assist your success in the classroom. Remember that there are body
parts that should never show (both front and back). Also, underwear should be worn under your clothing.
After dressing in the morning, stand in front of your mirror and bend over, squat, raise your arms and
bend forward from the waist. If those certain body parts remain covered during this movement, you are
probably safe. You also need to beware of clothing that clings inappropriately. If there is a doubt about
an outfit, DO NOT WEAR IT! It is better to be safe than sorry!
Professional clothing generally includes:
Men
Women
Dress slacks
Casual dress slacks (khaki or twill)
Dress shirts, ties, collared polo shirts
Sweaters, vests, jackets
Dress and casual shoes
Business Casual
Dress slacks
Casual dress slacks (khaki or twill)
Dresses, skirts
Blouses
Sweaters, vests, jackets
Pant suits
Dress and casual shoes
Business Casual
Do Not Wear:
 Any footwear that may interfere with performing your job, such as flip-flops or extremely high
heels
 Denim jeans (jeans of any color or style) unless the school has a special occasion or celebration
that calls for wearing jeans
 Shorts of any type (exceptions for Physical Education majors)
 T-shirts (especially with logos)
 Clothing with potentially offensive phrases, political statements, religious statements or
inappropriate advertising
 Shirts (low-cut, short waisted, or short sleeved) that reveal too much skin, underwear or tattoos
 Athletic clothes (sweatshirts, hoodies, jogging suits)
 Sagging pants worn low or pants cut with a “low rise” that reveal underwear or too much skin
 Faded, unclean or wrinkled clothing
 Leggings, tights and yoga pants; these are not appropriate to be worn as pants
Grooming and Hygiene Basics:
 Regular bathing and deodorant should be used to eliminate body odor
 Wash and brush your hair regularly
 Hair, beards and mustaches should be neatly trimmed and clean (or removed if not in accordance
with school policies)
 Cologne or perfume, if used at all, should be subtle
 Body piercing, other than earrings, should be unnoticeable
 Fingernails should be trimmed and clean
 Beware of smoking or pet odors
7
Professional Responsibilities
As a part of professional behavior, teacher candidates are expected to observe and adhere to the
professional requirements for educators. Candidates need to be familiar with each of the following in
order to uphold policies and legal requirements for educators. Full documents for each can be found
in the Appendix of this handbook.
Kansas Educator Code of Conduct
http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/TLA/Licensure/KS_Ed_Code_Conduct_Brochure031014.pdf
The professional educator shall work in the best interest of their students and honor their
responsibilities to their students, school, district, community, state and profession as evidence by:
o Responsibilities to Student
o Responsibilities to District
o Responsibilities to Profession
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
Student records and information are protected under this federal law. Teachers must be aware of the
requirements in order to appropriately maintain required confidentiality.
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/pps/pages/reportchildabuseandneglect.aspx
All teachers, school administrators or other employees of an educational institution are mandated
reporters for child abuse and neglect under the Kansas reporting law (K.S.A. 38-2223). Teacher
candidates must be aware of their legal responsibility and the required steps to make such a report.
8
Preparing for the Professional Semester
In the period before you report to the classroom for the professional semester, there are things that you
can do to prepare yourself for the experience ahead. First, set personal goals for yourself for the semester.
When setting these goals, you should consider both your strengths and weaknesses. Then, determine
what you would like to achieve during the experience. You will want to share these goals with both your
cooperating teacher(s) and university supervisor. They are members of the professional semester team
and will use these goals to help guide your development throughout the semester.
Secondly, you should contact and arrange a meeting with your cooperating teacher(s). For your first
contact, call the cooperating teacher rather than sending an email. Prior to the meeting, prepare a list of
questions for your cooperating teacher. When making this list, think about the things that are important to
know prior to arriving in the classroom on the first day of school. Write each of your questions down so
you remember to ask them during your meeting.
Sample questions for the first meeting with your cooperating teacher:
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May I have a tour of the school?
What type of community is served by the school?
Where may I eat my lunch?
Where should I park each day?
When I am expected to arrive and leave each day?
May I have a school calendar and a calendar of activities?
What extra duties will be required of me (e.g. lunchroom supervision, parking lot
supervision)?
What are your expectations of me?
How and when would you like me to submit lesson plans to you?
What are your general discipline and classroom policies?
Your cooperating teacher will also have questions of you. Be prepared to share about yourself, your goals
and your expectations for the semester. Use this opportunity to get to know your teacher and relieve
anxiety about the unknown aspects of the experience.
You will be expected to dress professionally for this first meeting. Remember, you are making a first
impression on your cooperating teacher and will set the tone for the whole semester. Be sure to approach
the meeting with confidence and enthusiasm.
As the beginning of the semester approaches, you can reduce anxiety by taking time to prepare yourself
mentally for the experience. Use your previously determined goals to set high, but attainable,
expectations for your performance. These expectations should be set in terms of progress, or
development, of your skills. Do not focus on reaching a particular level of performance but rather on
continuous improvement. Be sure to revisit these expectations throughout the semester and adjust them if
necessary.
Most importantly, keep a positive attitude. If you need extra support, do not be afraid to seek it.
9
The Professional Semester
All student teachers (fall and spring) are required to report to their student teaching
sites on the first day of the semester for the assigned district, including opening
meetings, professional development and work days. Be prepared to report to your
student teaching site before the PSU semester begins. You will follow the school district
calendar, not PSU’s calendar, for student contact days and holidays.
As a student teacher, you are assigned a supervisor from the university who works with you and will
observe you throughout the semester. They will act as your mentor and provide guidance, feedback and
support. Some university supervisors also facilitate the professional semester seminar sessions. The
professional semester seminars are conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on designated dates throughout
the semester.
Outside Activities/Classes during Professional Semester
The professional semester is considered the beginning of your teaching career, and your energies should
be focused on gaining as much practical experience in the classroom as possible. Therefore, outside
employment or taking additional coursework is not advised during the professional semester. If
employment or additional course work is a necessity, you must petition the Committee for Admission to
and Retention in Teacher Education (CARTE) for approval. A maximum number of hours that can be
spent working is 20 hours per week. Activities like coaching or sponsoring a club, while good experience,
are considered extracurricular and should not in any way interfere with your student teaching experience.
Student athletes are encouraged to complete the professional semester in the off-season of their particular
sport. If a student athlete wishes to student teach during their regular season, they must petition CARTE
for approval. If a conflict should become apparent or difficulties arise in any outside activities, you will
be expected to reevaluate your obligations and make appropriate changes. The failure to make appropriate
changes could affect your status in the professional semester.
10
Phases of the Professional Semester
The timeline for assuming full responsibility in the classroom is unique for each candidate. The
professional semester consists of three basic phases. Phase one consists of candidates beginning to take
over routines and procedures such as attendance and small group work. Phase two involves gradually
taking over the responsibility of managing the classroom under the guidance of the cooperating teacher.
In phase three candidates gradually return the responsibility of the classroom to the cooperating teacher.
The ultimate goal is to have the student teacher assume all duties and responsibilities for 3 to 5
weeks during the professional semester. There should be no instance in which the candidate
immediately assumes total responsibility for the class.
Phase
Weeks
1-2
1
Role of the Candidate
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3-4
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5-8
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2
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9-12
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13-17
3
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Become oriented to the school and classroom
Become acquainted with the school’s policies, curriculum, culture and
personnel
Become acquainted with the classroom’s instructional equipment, procedures,
rules, management plans and students
Meet daily/weekly with the cooperating teacher to ask questions, discuss
concerns, seek clarifications, celebrate successes and reflect on the week
Become actively involved in assisting the cooperating teacher
Begin to work with individuals and small groups or teach specific lessons
Meet daily/weekly with the cooperating teacher to ask questions, discuss
concerns, seek clarifications, celebrate successes and reflect on the week
Become more involved in teaching
Plan instruction, gather necessary materials and carry out instruction
Write lesson plans and share those with the cooperating teacher and university
supervisor
Begin to take over beginning with a subject area or class section, adding more
subjects and responsibilities gradually until full responsibility has been reached
Meet daily/weekly with the cooperating teacher to ask questions, discuss
concerns, seek clarifications, celebrate successes and reflect on the week
Become fully responsible for the classroom including lesson planning,
implementation and management of the curriculum and students
Meet as needed with the cooperating teacher to ask questions, discuss concerns,
seek clarifications, celebrate successes and reflect on the week
Gradually begin to phase out of full responsibility by returning the classroom to
the cooperating teacher
Spend time observing other classrooms
Meet as needed with the cooperating teacher to ask questions, discuss concerns,
seek clarifications, celebrate successes and reflect on the week
11
Coursework
The professional semester provides a hands-on application of knowledge and skills learned during your
preparation program. It offers experiences related to the realities of teaching and effective management of
a classroom. During the semester, you will be enrolled in 15-17 hours of coursework. The Office of
Teacher Education will enroll you in these courses when you have been conditionally admitted to
professional semester.
The following list describes topics that are explored in the professional semester courses and seminars:

Effective teaching principles including curriculum design, educational trends and issues,
lesson planning, instructional techniques and professionalism

The educational foundations of the American school including national educational goals,
social and ethnic changes in education, school law, school policies and procedures and the
administrative organization of the school system
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The purposes, students and programs of the elementary or middle and secondary school with
emphasis on the theories of learning associated with elementary or secondary education
including classroom management, special programs, adolescent characteristics,
communication, cultural influences on learning and effective relationships with students, staff
and parents

The theories and practice of evaluation including the uses of educational tests, assessment
system components, test development, parental/student communication and techniques of
using evaluative information, as well as teacher self-assessment
12
Major Assignments
Each course correlating to the professional semester has its own objectives and requirements; however,
the coursework is designed to be integrated with the classroom teaching experience. A number of class
requirements may apply to several different course objectives. It should also be noted that changes and/or
adjustments may be made at the discretion of the instructor to meet class needs or individual school
district schedules. Other activities will be assigned and actual due dates for all assignments will be set by
the seminar instructor.
Major assignments include, but are not limited to:

Orientation Assignment: You will complete an orientation assignment at the beginning of the
semester. Using the school’s policy manual, School Report Card, and working with your
cooperating teacher, service personnel, and administration, the assignment will help you
become familiar with: school policies, teacher policies, school curricula, school culture,
classroom layout, classroom procedures, teacher routines, classroom rules and expectations,
etc.
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Lesson Plans: You are expected to provide your supervisor with a copy of a typed lesson plan
for the lesson you are teaching for each visit. The format will be determined by your
supervisor and will be addressed during the professional semester seminars. You should
consult your supervisor about providing them with a copy of class handouts, presentations or
other materials used in your lesson.
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Shadow Study: You will select one pupil and observe his/her behavior throughout the course
of one school day as they move through their regular schedule. You will be required to write a
synopsis of that student's behavior showing professional insight.
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Teacher Work Sample (TWS): The TWS is a state mandated requirement. It is an integrated
teaching unit written by you based upon Kansas Curriculum Standards and input from the
cooperating teacher. The TWS must be grade and age appropriate and lessons from the TWS
must be taught in the classroom. The score for this assignment is reported to the Kansas State
Department of Education as part of the license application process.

Professional Teaching Portfolio: Your professional portfolio is a collection of artifacts that
should document your mastery of the Professional Knowledge Base and effective teaching.
The portfolio should include your best work.
13
Performance Evaluations
Student teacher performance is evaluated through observations of experiences in the field, professional
discussion in the professional semester seminars, course assignments and student teacher self-assessment.
Evaluations are completed by the university supervisor and cooperating teacher(s). The performance
evaluations are centered on the Professional Knowledge Base categories. A copy of the Professional
Knowledge Base in its entirety is included at the end of this handbook.
THE LEARNER AND LEARNING
Professional educators must understand that learning and development patterns vary among
individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the learning process and that
learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive.
CONTENT
Professional educators must have a deep and flexible understanding of the field and be able to
draw upon the central concepts and structures of their discipline as they work with learners. They
integrate cross-disciplinary skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and
communication) to help learners apply content to propose solutions, forge new understandings,
solve problems and imagine possibilities. Professional educators connect information to local,
state, national and global issues.
INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE
Professional educators understand and integrate assessment, planning and instructional strategies
in coordinated and engaging ways for effective practice. They understand how to design,
implement, interpret and communicate results from a range of assessments.
PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Professional educators create and support safe, productive learning environments. They must
engage in meaningful and intensive professional learning and self-renewal by regularly examining
practice through ongoing study, self-reflection and collaboration. Professional educators
contribute to accomplishing their school’s mission and goals and demonstrate leadership by
modeling ethical behavior, contributing to positive changes in practice and advancing their
profession.
14
Observation and Evaluation Timeline
University supervisors make a minimum of four classroom visits per semester. If necessary, more visits
may be scheduled. Secondary and PK-12 student teachers are also observed by an academic supervisor
from his or her major department at least one time during the semester. Cooperating teachers make both
informal and formal observations in the classroom throughout the semester. Below is a chart that shows
the estimated timeline for university supervisor visits.
Visit
1
Time Frame
Purpose
Weeks 1-2
“HOWDY” - Getting acquainted
Reviewing procedures
Setting professional goals for growth
2
Weeks 4-6
First Formal Written Observation
Initial evaluation submitted online
Outlining interventions if necessary
3
Weeks 8-10
Second Formal Written Observation
Mid evaluation submitted online
4
Weeks 12-16
Final Formal Written Observation
Final evaluation submitted to University
At specified times during the semester, a three-way conference is held (between the student teacher, cooperating
teacher and university supervisor) where the evaluations of the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor
are discussed. Other conferences may be held as needed.
15
Suggested Timeline for Professional Semester
The professional semester experience is unique to each candidate. Involvement in classroom activities
will depend upon the individual’s readiness to perform the tasks assigned. The timeline below is designed
to serve as a guide for the sequence and pace of the professional semester. It is not expected that an exact
adherence to these guidelines will take place (for example, a student who completed an internship in the
previous semester may move more quickly on the timeline). The ultimate goal is to have the student
teacher assume all duties and responsibilities for 3 to 5 weeks during the professional semester.
There should be no instance in which the candidate immediately assumes total responsibility for the
class.
Professional semester major assignments are listed within the timeline at an approximate time frame.
Other activities will be assigned and actual due dates for all assignments will be set by the seminar
instructor.
CT= Cooperating Teacher
US= University Supervisor
TWS= Teacher Work Sample
TIME
Student Teacher Required Activities
Additional Activities
Week 1
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Weeks 2-3
Weeks 4-5
Weeks 6-7
Weeks 8-9
Weeks 10-12
Weeks 13-16
Remaining
Time













Observe the CT
Write a letter of introduction to parents
Introduce yourself to school personnel
Review curriculum materials
Take over at least one routine
Complete Orientation Assignment
Observe, plan and evaluate as directed by CT
Begin working with individual students
Teach 1-2 lessons each day
Complete contextual factors for TWS assignment
Teach 3-4 lessons each day
Observe, plan and evaluate as directed by CT
Plan/complete Shadow Study
Continue adding lessons to teach
Observe, plan and evaluate as directed by CT
Identify topic, objectives and assessments for TWS with CT
and US
Teach at least ½ the day
Attend and participate in parent teacher conferences (as
scheduled by school district)
Observe, plan and evaluate as directed by CT
Create lesson plans and instructional procedure for TWS
Continue adding lessons to teach
Take over the classroom completely
Teach lesson plans from TWS
Analyze TWS learning results
Complete Professional Portfolio
Begin to return the class to the CT
Reflect on TWS
Complete TWS write-up
Observe in other classrooms/buildings (within the district)
16


Develop seating charts
Keep parallel grade book
Take attendance
Grade papers
Attend faculty meetings
Attend/observe IEP meeting
Observe a special education
classroom
Extra duty assignments
Attend committee meetings
The Professional Semester Team
Pittsburg State University envisions the professional semester experience as a “partnership” between the
student teacher, the cooperating teacher, the district administrators, the university supervisors and the
Office of Teacher Education. The team effort provided, when all parties involved are directed toward a
common goal, supports a successful experience for the student teacher. Team members and their roles
include:
Student Teacher:
A teacher candidate who has completed a sequenced course of study that
prepares him or her for classroom teaching under the guidance of a
cooperating teacher and university supervisor. The focus for the student
teacher is the welfare of the students in his or her classroom. While the
student teacher is in a learning experience, he or she plans lessons and
interacts with students in a professional manner that meets the needs of all
students.
Cooperating Teacher: An experienced, licensed/certified, highly qualified classroom teacher
working in a state accredited school. The administrator appoints the
cooperating teacher to guide the student teacher throughout the semester.
University Supervisor: University faculty member from the Office of Teacher Education who serves
as instructor of the professional semester courses, facilitates the professional
semester seminars and supervises the student teacher’s experience in the
classroom.
Academic Supervisor: A program representative from the student teacher’s academic department.
The academic supervisor provides content specific support to the student
teacher throughout the program. During the professional semester, the
academic supervisor maintains contact with the student teacher and makes a
minimum of one site visit for observation purposes.
Placement
Coordinator:
The coordinator of all teacher candidate placements. Contract agreements are
secured between the university and K-12 school districts for placement of
teacher candidates at all levels.
Director of
Teacher Education:
The director provides oversight for all teacher education program functions
and candidates. The Office of Teacher Education houses teacher candidate
files and records.
Cooperating
Administrators:
The administrator serves as the contact person between the school district and
Pittsburg State University Office of Teacher Education. He or she is
responsible for selecting experienced, highly qualified, master teachers to
serve as cooperating teachers.
17
Suggestions for Student Teaching Dilemmas

When preparing to assume responsibility for the classroom, it is vital for you to demonstrate to the
cooperating teacher your readiness for this role. Your preparedness will be exemplified through
your ability to be reliable, dependable, meet deadlines, prepare thoughtful lesson plans, accept
constructive feedback, etc. If the cooperating teacher seems reluctant to relinquish control of the
classroom or teaching duties to you, use this opportunity to discuss with him or her their concerns
and what actions you can take to relieve these concerns.

Effective communication is essential. To have a successful student teaching experience, you
must be able to clearly and accurately communicate with others. This includes oral and written
communication exhibiting correct spelling and grammar. It is important for you to take initiative
in all communication with all parties involved in the student teaching semester.

It is vital to prepare well-developed and carefully planned lessons. Each lesson should be
submitted to the cooperating teacher for review prior to the presentation of the lesson. You should
expect to make revisions to each lesson as you continue to develop this ability.

Constructive criticism should be expected from the cooperating teacher and/or the university
supervisor. This feedback is meant to help you grow and develop your abilities as a teacher and
therefore should never be viewed as a personal attack. When receiving feedback, LISTEN and be
sure to remove any emotion from your response. Your cooperating teacher and university
supervisor both have a vested interest in your success.

Practice self-reflection and evaluation. It is vital to learn from your mistakes and make
appropriate adjustments to your teaching.

Always familiarize yourself with the content you are teaching prior to the lesson. It is important
that your students see your confidence in the subject matter and understand your commitment to
learning.

Each day of your student teaching semester will present new circumstances in the classroom
and/or school. It is important to use professional judgment on how to handle these various
circumstances. Occasionally, a student teacher will encounter a much more serious situation than
those that occur daily such as suspected child abuse, student injury, threats, etc. If you encounter
one of these serious situations, you must immediately notify the appropriate school officials. You
should also notify your university supervisor as soon as possible.
18
Dealing with Issues Involving Student Teachers
The professional semester is a very demanding and stressful experience for most student teachers. The
majority of the student teachers quickly organize their schedules so that they are able to function
successfully both professionally and personally. Each student teacher is unique in the amount of
supervision and assistance needed from the cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Most problems
which arise between the cooperating teacher and the candidate are resolved through effective
communication on a daily basis.
Few student teachers encounter difficulties to a degree that require major intervention. Major intervention
can be implemented on several levels. The severity of the concern or issue dictates at which level the
intervention begins. The levels of intervention are listed below:
Level 1: If the cooperating teacher or student teacher is unable to satisfactorily discuss the concern or issue
with the other party, he or she is to contact the university supervisor. Working as a team, the university
supervisor, cooperating teacher and student teacher are usually able to correct the problem.
Level 2: The university supervisor notifies and discusses the concern or issue with the Director of Teacher
Education. A plan of action is developed and a contract may be written specifying action necessary to
address the concern or issue. The university supervisor shares ideas with the cooperating teacher and the
student teacher. If necessary, the director meets with the student teacher and outlines possible outcomes.
The director also gathers information from and communicates with the cooperating teacher and appropriate
administrators.
Level 3: The Director of Teacher Education notifies the chairperson of the student’s major academic
department and a committee is organized for developing a plan that best meets the needs of the student
teacher, students in the classroom and cooperating teacher. The committee will consist of: the university
supervisor, the Director of Teacher Education, and at least one faculty member from the major department.
As appropriate, the cooperating teacher and/or building administrator may be part of this committee. In
some instances, the candidate may be required to appear before this committee. Options available for
committee consideration include:
1) Leave the student teacher in the present situation, creating a contract that outlines areas that must
show marked improvement immediately.
2) Place the student teacher at another site if agreed to by the new cooperating teacher and
administrator after being advised of the problem at the original placement.
3) Bring the student teacher back to campus for remediation and placement in a later semester.
4) Remove the student teacher from the professional semester and the teacher education program.
5) Deny licensure application.
Students have the right to appeal any decision to CARTE. After all other options have been exhausted, the
final step for filing an appeal is to meet with the Dean of the College of Education.
If at any time an administrator in a cooperating school advises the Director of Teacher Education that a
student teacher must be removed from a placement, the candidate will be removed immediately.
19
Responsibilities of the Professional Semester Team
The Student Teacher
The student teacher moves from the role of a student in the university classroom to the facilitator of learning in the
school classroom. The professional semester is a vital part of the teacher preparation program. Each student teacher
is expected to achieve competence in all skill areas described by the PSU Professional Knowledge Base.
The following includes suggestions for achieving success during the professional semester:

Become familiar with rules and regulations established by the school.

Check with the cooperating teacher about appropriate dress.

Be prompt arriving at school and don’t leave school until the approved time for teachers to leave the
building.

If you must miss school because of an emergency or illness, call your cooperating teacher AND your
university supervisor prior to the beginning of the school day.

Attend professional development workshops, teacher meetings, committee meetings, school functions and
student activities.

Develop an open and honest working relationship with the cooperating teacher.

Develop an open and honest relationship with the students ensuring they understand you are a teacher and
not their buddy.

Get to know the school staff. Introduce yourself to the secretary(s), custodian(s), school nurse, school
counselor, special services teachers, bus drivers, food service personnel, etc. Learn about the important role
every person plays in providing quality educational services.

Review the curriculum guide(s) for your classroom(s). This will help you to plan lessons that fit within the
established curriculum.

Accept constructive feedback from the cooperating teacher and evaluate your own performance after each
lesson taught.

Organize your time effectively. Be sure to include some time in your schedule for fun and exercise.
20
Frequent Questions and Answers of Student Teachers
 What if the principal of the school requests that I not wear certain jewelry or clothing?
 Do not wear it! You are required to follow the rules and regulations of the school district
including dress codes.
 What time should I go to school and how long should I remain?
 Follow the school schedule. Your hours should be consistent with those of your cooperating
teacher.
 If my cooperating teacher does not ask me to be involved with classroom activities, what should I
do?
 Take initiative. Volunteer to help with routine activities and share your desire to be involved in
the classroom with the cooperating teacher.
 What should I focus on during my first few weeks in the classroom?
 Observe how the teacher manages the classroom, presents lessons, responds to student
questions, organizes materials and relates to students and other staff members. This is a good
time to ask “Why?” questions.
 Do I need to make daily lesson plans even if the cooperating teacher does not request a copy?
 Yes. Learning to teach is a process. Planning lessons as you begin to learn the art and science
of teaching will help you to think through the details you might otherwise overlook. The
university supervisor will request your lesson plan when observing. Lesson plans provide
structure that leads to successful teaching.
 What should I do if I must be absent from school?
 Call your cooperating teacher and university supervisor as soon as possible and share the
reason for your absence. You are allowed only a specified number of absences before your
status in the professional semester becomes a concern.
 If I am injured while at school, does the school district insurance cover me?
 No. You need to secure your own personal insurance. The school district is not liable for any
injuries to you as you are not an employee of the district. There are several options for liability
insurance. You may discuss the concern with your university supervisor.
 If I have a problem, to whom should I talk?
 First, speak with your cooperating teacher; if this does not solve the problem then inform the
university supervisor (asking for help is not a sign of weakness or bad teaching!). Your
supervisor can help you develop an action plan to address the concern or issue. If you do not
feel that these steps have been successful, contact the Director of Teacher Education.
21
 When do I apply for teacher licensure?
 During the final professional semester seminar, you will guided though the process for
applying for your license. You are not eligible for your license until your degree has been
posted and you have met all other requirements.
 If I need special accommodations, from whom should I seek assistance?
 You should contact the Equal Opportunity Office located in 218 Russ Hall. They can be
contacted by phone at 620-235-4185 or by email at eoaa@pittstate.edu.
22
The Cooperating Teacher
The cooperating teacher is the person who works the most closely with the student teacher. Cooperating
teachers are selected by building principals and district level administrators to serve as mentors. In this
most important role, acquainting the student teacher to the school setting and providing an environment
that facilitates an opportunity for success in the professional semester and beyond is the responsibility of
the cooperating teacher.
The cooperating teacher is legally responsible for all that takes place in his or her classroom. While the
student teacher is eager to learn and is prepared to perform the duties of a beginning teacher; ultimately, it
is the role of the cooperating teacher to monitor the lesson planning, classroom management
implementation, teaching technique and interpersonal interaction style of the student teacher.
Upon the arrival of the student teacher, the following steps are suggested to the cooperating teacher for
orientation to the school environment:
 Introduce him or her to the class as a teacher.
 Take the student teacher on a tour of the building and introduce him or her to personnel and
school policies.
 Share your classroom routine and instructional procedure, and show him or her where to find
supplies and equipment.
 Encourage the student teacher to become familiar with services provided in the school, such as
library services, school nurse services, counseling services and special services programs.
 Help the student teacher build relationships with the students in the classroom. Advise him or
her of any specific medical or behavioral problems that might arise.
 Invite the student teacher to team-teach with you after he or she has become familiar with the
procedures and strategies you implement in your lessons.
 Set aside time to discuss steps you take when preparing for class. For example, share how you
plan lessons, select materials, present the lesson, evaluate the level of success, etc.
 Follow the guidelines provided by the university supervisor for when and how long the student
teacher should take over teaching duties and for appropriate lesson critiquing strategies.
 Evaluate the student teacher’s performance at three points throughout the semester and submit
a final evaluation for inclusion in the student teacher’s credential file in the Office of Career
Services.
23
Frequent Questions and Answers of Cooperating Teachers
 How long should the student observe before participating in class?
 Involve your student teacher in the classroom immediately by assigning responsibilities
such as taking attendance, working with individuals or small groups, assisting with lab
projects, etc.
 How soon should the student teacher begin full time teaching responsibilities?
 This varies according to the type of classroom and the student teacher. The university
supervisor will discuss this during the “HOWDY” visit. Allow the student teacher to
gradually take over classes until he or she is responsible for all classes. The ultimate goal
is to have the student teacher assume all duties and responsibilities for 3 to 5 weeks
during the professional semester. There should be no instance in which the candidate
immediately assumes total responsibility for the class. During the final two weeks of the
semester allow time for observing and visiting other classrooms in the district.
 Should the student teacher prepare daily lesson plans?
 The student teacher should develop a lesson plan for each class taught consistent with the
school’s policy. The cooperating teacher should review the plan and provide constructive
feedback.
 Should the student teacher make long term lesson plans?
 When preparing for taking over full teaching responsibility, long-term plans should be
developed for all units being taught. Again, guidance from the cooperative teacher is
helpful. Monitor yourself so that you are not doing more of the work than the student
teacher. Your support and encouragement are vital to the success of the lessons.
 Is it okay for the student teacher to use some of the cooperating teacher’s lesson plans and unit
materials?
 During the early stages of teaching, this will provide the student teacher with ideas and
structure for making his or her own lesson plans. However, the candidate must create their
own Teacher Work Sample unit and lessons with your guidance.
 If the student teacher makes a mistake in teaching the lesson, should I correct him or her during
the lesson in front of the class?
 Avoid criticism of the student teacher in public whether with students or faculty and staff.
Conference with the student teacher in private when the need arises. Make notes of
mistakes, point them out and discuss strategies for making improvements. Providing
constructive feedback in a non-threatening manner provides the best learning experience.
24
 Should I leave the room while the student teacher is teaching?
 At the beginning of the semester, take care in leaving for any length of time. When the
student teacher becomes familiar with your classroom management methods and both you
and the student teacher feel comfortable, it is desirable for you to leave the student teacher
in control. When the student teacher assumes full responsibility of the class, you will want
to provide feedback after observing him or her teaching. However, it is also necessary for
most student teachers to have the freedom to teach without another adult in the room. It is
important for the student teacher to know where you are in case of an emergency.
 How often should I have conferences with the student teacher?
 Set aside a time at least once each week where you can discuss past performances and
plan for future lessons. The ability to communicate openly and honestly leads to success
for everyone in the classroom. This helps ensure there are no surprises on the final
evaluation.
 If the teacher across the hall is absent, should I volunteer my student teacher to substitute since I
am close enough to see if problems arise?
 No! The student teacher cannot legally assume the role of substitute teacher. It is in direct
violation of their student teaching certificate.
 If I need to contact someone at the university, other than the university supervisor, whom do I
call?
 Contact the Director of Teacher Education.
Phone: (620) 235-4489, e-mail: teachered@pittstate.edu
25
The University Supervisor
The university supervisor is responsible for guiding the student teacher throughout the semester by
monitoring progress and working as a team with the cooperating teacher. While each supervisor’s specific
style of supervision is unique, they all share common goals. During the “HOWDY” visit, the university
supervisor will explain his or her role with the team. During the sixteen-week experience, you can expect,
at a minimum, several things from the supervisor. He or she will:





Keep informed of the student teacher’s work through conferences and observations as scheduled
with the student teacher.
Provide support and encouragement to the student teacher and cooperating teacher throughout the
semester.
Make a minimum of four scheduled visits to the classroom.
Be available whenever the student teacher or cooperating teacher has questions and/or requests a
meeting.
Evaluate the student teacher’s performance at three points throughout the semester and submit a
final evaluation for inclusion in the student teacher’s permanent record.
26
Licensing
Licensure to teach in the state of Kansas requires graduation from a state approved program, successful
completion of a Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test (minimum score = 160) and the
successful completion of an academic content test. Additional licensure requirements are mandated by the
Kansas State Department of Education. Information specific to licensure will be discussed in seminars
during the professional semester. Contact the PSU Licensing Officer for additional licensure information.
Upon successful completion of the PSU teacher education program and the successful completion of all
required tests, you will be eligible for licensure in Kansas and Missouri. Certification in Oklahoma
requires licensure in Kansas and successful completion of three tests developed for Oklahoma teachers.
An exception may be possible if a request to substitute tests completed for Kansas licensure is submitted
to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Specific requirements for licensure or certification in
other states may be secured by going to that state’s Department of Education website.
Application for licensure cannot be made until all requirements for graduation have been completed.
Before license applications can be submitted to the Kansas State Department of Education for processing,
degrees must be posted by the PSU Registrar’s Office, an official transcript submitted to the PSU
Licensing Officer and the PLT and content assessment must be successfully passed and reported to PSU.
Associated Licensure Fees





Licensure Exams
o Principles of Learning and Teaching - $146
o Content exams – Approximately $120 - $160, a content exam is required for each
endorsement sought for a teaching license
License application fee - $60 - $70
Fingerprinting fee - $50
Official transcript fee - $5
If licensure is sought in any state other than Kansas, there will be additional application and
background check fees for each state.
Praxis II Testing Information
As noted, the PLT and an academic content exam for each area in which licensure is sought is required to
be eligible for a license in the state of Kansas. These exams are a part of the Praxis II Series administered
through Educational Testing Service (ETS). To find the appropriate exams for your content area for the
state of Kansas, go to: https://www.ets.org/praxis/ks/requirements
27
It should be noted that the Praxis exams are offered only in a computer delivered format. Test-takers may
take the exams at any Prometric Testing Center across the nation. It is important to list PSU as a
designated score recipient so your scores will be officially reported to the Office of Teacher Education.
Further information about the exam, including registration and preparation materials, can be found at the
Praxis website: www.ets.org/praxis
28
APPENDIX
PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE BASE
*Effective Fall 2015
THE LEARNER AND LEARNING
Professional educators must understand that learning and development patterns vary among
individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the learning process and that
learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive.
1. The candidate knows how learning occurs (how learners construct knowledge, acquire skills and develop
disciplined thinking processes) and how to use instructional strategies that promote individual growth.
2. The candidate understands that cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical development influences
learning.
3. The candidate understands and identifies differences in approaches to learning and performance and
designs experiences that incorporate individuals’ strengths to promote growth.
4. The candidate understands students with exceptional needs and knows how to use strategies and resources
to meet these needs.
5. The candidate knows how to access information about the values of diverse cultures and communities and
how to incorporate languages, experiences, cultures and community resources into practice.
6. The candidate understands how to manage the learning environment by organizing, allocating and
coordinating the resources of time and space.
7. The candidate knows how to design experiences using strategies that enhance learner motivation and
engagement.
8. The candidate understands the processes needed to foster a respectful learning community.
CONTENT
Professional educators must have a deep and flexible understanding of the field and be able to
draw upon the central concepts and structures of their discipline as they work with learners.
They integrate cross-disciplinary skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and
communication) to help learners apply content to propose solutions, forge new understandings,
solve problems and imagine possibilities. Professional educators connect information to local,
state, national and global issues.
9. The candidate understands that learners should question, analyze and understand concepts from diverse
perspectives.
10. The candidate has a deep knowledge of student content standards and learning progressions in the
discipline(s).
11. The candidate knows how to use supplementary resources and technologies effectively to ensure
accessibility and relevance for all.
12. The candidate understands how disciplinary knowledge can be applied as a lens to address local and global
issues.
13. The candidate realizes that content knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is complex, culturally
situated and ever evolving. S/he keeps abreast of new ideas and best practices in the field.
14. The candidate knows major concepts, assumptions and debates that are central to the discipline.
1
INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE
Professional educators understand and integrate assessment, planning and instructional
strategies in coordinated and engaging ways for effective practice. They understand how to
design, implement, interpret and communicate results from a range of assessments.
15. The candidate knows how to engage learners in multiple ways of demonstrating knowledge and skills as
part of the assessment process.
16. The candidate understands the positive impact of effective descriptive feedback and knows a variety of
strategies for communicating this feedback.
17. The candidate knows how to engage learners actively in the assessment process and to develop each
learner’s capacity to reflect on and communicate about their individual progress.
18. The candidate understands the theories and processes of curriculum design (appropriate sequencing,
developmentally appropriate instruction, builds on learners’ prior knowledge and experiences).
19. The candidate understands the process for aligning instruction and assessment with learning targets.
20. The candidate understands how theory, research and best practices impact ongoing planning and
instructional practice.
21. The candidate knows how to engage learners in using technology tools and a range of skills to access,
interpret, evaluate and apply information.
22. The candidate knows how to incorporate a variety of strategies that stimulate the cognitive processes
associated with various kinds of learning (e.g., critical and creative thinking, problem framing and problem
solving, invention, memorization and recall).
23. The candidate knows how to apply a variety of developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate
instructional strategies to achieve learning targets.
24. The candidate knows how to analyze assessment data to understand patterns and gaps in learning, to guide
planning and instruction and to provide meaningful feedback.
PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Professional educators create and support safe, productive learning environments. They must
engage in meaningful and intensive professional learning and self-renewal by regularly
examining practice through ongoing study, self-reflection and collaboration. Professional
educators contribute to accomplishing their school’s mission and goals and demonstrate
leadership by modeling ethical behavior, contributing to positive changes in practice and
advancing their profession.
25. The candidate knows how to use information and technology ethically, legally and safely.
26. The candidate understands and knows how to use a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving
strategies to analyze and reflect on his/her practice and to plan for adaptations/adjustments.
27. The candidate understands laws related to learners’ rights and teacher responsibilities (e.g., IDEA, FERPA,
mandated reporting, etc.).
28. The candidate understands schools as organizations within a historical, cultural, political and social context
and knows how to work with others across the system to support learners.
29. The candidate knows how to contribute to a common culture that supports high expectations for student
learning.
30. The candidate understands the expectations of the profession including codes of ethics, professional
standards of practice and relevant law and policy.
31. The candidate knows how to communicate effectively with all members of the learning community.
2
Kansas Educator
Code of Conduct
The professional educator shall
work in the best interest of
their students and honor their
responsibilities to their students,
school, district, community, state and
profession as evidenced by:
zz Responsibilities to Student
zz Responsibilities to District
zz Responsibilities to Profession
For more information:
Teacher Licensure and Accreditation
Kansas State Department of Education
Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson Suite 106
Topeka, Kansas 66612
(785) 291-3678
www.ksde.org
The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities and
provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: KSDE General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, KSDE, Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackson, Suite 102, Topeka, KS 66612, (785)
296-3201
Teacher Licensure and Accreditation
Sept. 2013
Responsibilities to Student:
zz Refrain from disclosing confidential or damaging information that affects the student
zz Make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions detrimental to learning, health
or safety
zz Maintain professional relationships with students both inside and outside the classroom
zz Restrain from soliciting, encouraging, participating or initiating inappropriate written, verbal,
electronic, physical, sexual or romantic relationship with students
Appropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
zz Keeping in confidence information about students that has been obtained in the course
of professional service
Responsibilities to District:
zz Adhere to conditions of contractual obligations with
professional practice
zz Fulfill reporting requirements honestly and accurately
zz Appropriately use funds, personnel, property and equipment
committed to his or her charge
zz Refrain from falsifying any documents related to the
employment process
zz Conduct school district business through established procedures
Appropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
Responsibilities to Profession:
zz Demonstrate conduct that follows generally
recognized professional standards
zz Fulfill all of the terms and obligations detailed in the
contract
zz Maintain appropriate licensure for professional
practice and employment
zz Provide accurate information to state department
zz Abide by all federal, state and local laws and employing
school board policies
zz Maximizing the positive effect of school funds through judicious use of said funds
Appropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
zz Modeling for students and colleagues the responsible use of public property
zz Encouraging and supporting colleagues in developing and maintaining high standards
zz Insuring that school policies or procedures are not impacted by gifts or gratuities from any
person or organization
zz Insuring that institutional privileges are not used for personal gain
Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
zz Follow mandatory reporting requirements
zz Fulfilling the roles of mentor and advocate for students in a professional relationship. A
professional relationship is one where the educator maintains a position of teacher/student
authority while expressing concern, empathy and encouragement for students
„„ Revealing confidential health or personnel information concerning colleagues unless disclosure
serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law
Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
„„ Harming others by knowingly making false statements about a colleague or the school system
„„ Inappropriate language on school grounds or any school-related activity
zz Providing professional education services in a nondiscriminatory manner
„„ Being on school premises or at a school-related activity involving students while documented
as being under the influence of, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. A school related
activity includes, but is not limited to, any activity that is sponsored by a school or a school
system or any activity designed to enhance the school curriculum such as club trips, etc. which
involve students
„„ Accepting gifts or favors or offering gratuities that impair professional judgment or to obtain
special advantage
zz Creating, supporting and maintaining a challenging learning environment for all students
zz Advocating for fair and equitable opportunities for all children
zz Nurturing the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic potential of all students
zz Embodying for students the characteristics of honesty, diplomacy, tact and fairness
zz Fulfilling all mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse
zz Maintaining a professional relationship with parents of students and establish appropriate
communication related to the welfare of their children
Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
„„ Sharing confidential information concerning student academic and disciplinary records, health
and medical information, family status/income and assessment/testing results unless disclosure
is required or permitted by law
„„ Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting or erroneously reporting information submitted to local,
state, federal, and/or other governmental agencies
„„ Failure to provide appropriate supervision of students and reasonable disciplinary actions
„„ Submitting fraudulent requests for reimbursement of expenses or for pay
„„ Engaging in harassing behavior on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion or disability
„„ Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting or erroneously reporting reasons for absences or leave
„„ Furnishing tobacco, alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student or allowing a student
to consume alcohol or illegal/unauthorized drugs
„„ Tutoring students assigned to the educator for remuneration unless approved by the local school
board
„„ Committing any act of child abuse
„„ Falsifying records or directing or coercing others to do so
„„ Committing any act of cruelty
„„ Committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child
endangerment
„„ Committing or soliciting any unlawful sexual act
„„ Using school property without the approval of the local board of education/governing body
zz Maintaining diligently the security of standardized test supplies and resources
„„ Harassment of colleagues
„„ Violating confidentiality agreements related to standardized testing including copying or
teaching identified test items, publishing or distributing test items or answers, discussing test
items and violating local school board or state directions for the use of tests
„„ Being under the influence of, possessing, using or consuming illegal or unauthorized drugs
„„ Falsifying, misrepresenting, omitting or erroneously reporting employment history, professional
qualification, criminal history, licensure/re-licensure
„„ A plea of guilty, nolo contendere or having been otherwise found guilty of: any crime
punishable as a felony; any crime involving a minor; any crime involving a theft; any crime
involving drug related conduct; any crime defined in any section of article 36 of chapter 21 of
the Kansas statutes annotated; or any attempt as defined by K.S.A. 21-3301 and amendments
thereto, to commit any crime specified in this subsection
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law
that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an
applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the
student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom
the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
 Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained
by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great
distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for
copies.
 Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be
inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then
has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the
parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view
about the contested information.
 Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any
information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records,
without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
o School officials with legitimate educational interest;
o Other schools to which a student is transferring;
o Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
o Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
o Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
o Accrediting organizations;
o To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
o Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
o State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone
number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents
and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of
time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and
eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in
a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD
may use the Federal Relay Service.
Or you may contact us at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
5
A Guide to Reporting
Child Abuse
& Neglect
in Kansas
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE
III
DEFINING AND RECOGNIZING CHILD ABUSE
What is Child Abuse
1
Tips for Mandated Reporters
1
Physical Abuse
2
Abusive Head Trauma
3
Distinguishing Abuse From Accident
3
Sexual Abuse
4
Some Myths and Facts About Sexual Abuse
5
Emotional Abuse
7
Neglect of a Child
8
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Who is Required to Report Child Abuse or Neglect Under Kansas Law?
1
9
What is the Legal Penalty If a Mandated Reporter Fails to Report
Suspected Child Abuse?
10
Is a Reporter Liable for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect?
10
Would a Reporter Incur Any Civil Liability if Required to Participate
In Court Proceedings As a Witness?
10
On What Basis May a Report of Suspected Child Abuse Be Made?
10
What Does “Reason to Suspect” Mean?
10
How Should a Report Be Made?
10
What Type of Information Should a Report Contain?
11
To Whom Should Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Be Made?
11
Will the Identity of the Reporter Be Disclosed Once a Report is Made?
11
What Can a Reporter Know About a Case Once a Report is Made?
11
If an Agency Receives a Court Order to Disclose Confidential Information
About an Individual Under Investigation, What Procedure Should be Followed?
11
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT
What Does Kansas Law Require of Child Protection and Law Enforcement
Agencies Concerning the Investigation of Child Abuse and Neglect?
12
How Quickly Are Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Investigated?
12
Where do I Report a Suspected Incident with a Child that Lives on an
Indian Reservation?
12
Under What Circumstances is a Joint Investigation of Child Abuse or Neglect
Between Child Protection Agencies and the Appropriate Law Enforcement
Agencies Required Under Kansas Law?
12
Does DCF Report Investigations of Licensed Facilities to the Department of
Health and Environment?
13
Are School Personnel Required to Provide DCF Access to a Child?
13
When Should a Law Enforcement Officer Remove the Child From His/Her
Home?
13
What Happens When a Child is Under the Protective Custody of a
Law Enforcement Officer?
13
Are Multidisciplinary Child Protection Teams used in the Investigation of
and Response to Reports of Child Abuse?
13
What is the Role of the Child Advocacy Center?
14
What is the DCF Response to Child Abuse and Neglect Following
Investigations?
14
DCF ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR ALLEGATION
OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
15
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION
Strengthening Families
16
Protective Factors
16
What Can I Do To Prevent Child Abuse?
16
CONCLUSION
17
NOTES
18
2
PREFACE
The first step in helping abused children is learning to recognize the symptoms of child abuse. This
booklet is intended to help both concerned citizens and individuals who are required by law to know how and
when to report child abuse and neglect. Information in this booklet includes:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Tips for mandated reporters
Definitions of types of abuse
Behavioral and physical indicators
Common myths and facts of abuse
Kansas reporting laws
When to make a report
What information is needed to make a report
Where to make a report
Consequences of failure to report
How child protection systems play an important role in
promoting safe families
How to prevent child abuse and neglect
Mandated reporters and the general public need to be aware of signs that may indicate child abuse. This booklet
can be used to educate communities about child abuse and help prevent it from happening. When it does occur,
the proper measures can be taken to protect the child.
Child abuse prevention efforts are one way to combat other social problems concerning all citizens.
Prevention helps create a more compassionate society, one which places a high value on the welfare
of children. It is important to provide families the tools and resources they need to raise their children in healthy
and nurturing homes free from abuse and neglect.
“Every dollar spent on prevention saves seven dollars on intervention services”
THE HIGH/SCOPE PERRY PRESCHOOL STUDY
ACRONYMS
Listed are some of the many acronyms that are commonly used in Child Protection Services work:
AHTAbusive Head Trauma
CAN
Child Abuse and Neglect
CASA Court Appointed Special Advocate
CBCAP Community Based Child Abuse Prevention
PPS
Prevention and Protection Services
CINC
Child in Need of Care
CPS Child Protective Services CRB
Citizen’s Review Board
JJA
Juvenile Justice Authority KCCTF
Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund
PCAA
Prevent Child Abuse America
PCA KS
Prevent Child Abuse Kansas
SBSShaken Baby Syndrome
DCF
Department for Children and Families
3
“It would be much better to report a case that did not end up being abuse than
to overlook one true abusive situation.”
- DENTIST
DEFINING AND RECOGNIZING
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
What Is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is any physical injury, physical neglect, emotional injury, or sexual act inflicted upon a child. Several
indicators, including a child’s behavior, may indicate the occurrence of child abuse.
Behavioral indicators, as defined in the sections following, have a valid place in decision making. They provide
important clues for potential reporters to pursue. However, the presence of a single behavioral indicator does not
necessarily prove that child abuse or neglect is occurring. The reporter is alerted to the possibility of child abuse
and neglect by the:
•
•
•
Repeated occurrences of an indicator
Presence of several behavioral and physical indicators
Appearance of suspicious serious injury or death
If a child reports he or she is a victim of abuse or neglect, give reassurance that telling you about what happened
is okay and safe. Respect the privacy of the child. The child will need to tell the story in detail later to the
investigators so do not press for details, display shock or disapproval of the parents, the child or the situation. Tell
the child that you are going to call someone who will help.
Tips for Mandated Reporters
When getting information to make a report, ask the minimum to get the information you need. You do not need
to know all the facts of the situation to make a report. A reporter only needs to have suspicion that abuse or
neglect has occurred. More information on reporting is available on page 9.
It is important to gather enough information to make a report, but be careful not to ask too many questions.
Asking questions with too much detail can potentially alter facts of the case unintentionally. Leave it to the
professionals at DCF and the law enforcement officers that are trained to interview children.
When working with children that trust you to keep their secret, let them know that you are going to call someone
you trust to get them help. It is important that children are not intimidated by you making a report.
4
PHYSICAL ABUSE
Definition
Physical abuse: Infliction of physical harm or the causation of a child’s deterioration, and may include, but shall
not be limited to, maltreatment or exploiting a child to the extent the child’s health is endangered. K.S.A. 38-2202
Indicators of Physical Abuse
Both physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse may be evident. Physical indicators should be considered
based on inconsistent medical history, the child’s developmental state and the presence of other indicators if
known. Listed below are common physical and behavioral indicators of physical abuse. This is a list of common
indicators and is not all inclusive as there could be other indicators presented.
Common Physical Indicators
Common Behavioral Indicators
•
•
Bruises, welts, or bite marks
m Different colors or in various stages of healing
m Back, buttocks & back of legs
m Groups, clusters or patterns
m Not common for age & activity level of child
m Defense wounds to back of arms and hands
m Shape of bruise ie: shape of an object
• Burns
m Scald and immersion burns
• Sock-like, glove-like, doughnut shaped on
buttocks or genitalia
• Splash burns
m Contact burns
• Cigar, cigarette especially on the soles,
palms, back, buttocks
• Patterned like electric iron, electric burner,
fire place tool, etc.
• Rope burns on arms, legs, neck and torso
• Fractures, scars or internal injuries
• Lacerations, abrasions or unusual bleeding
m Loop type lacerations from belts, straps
and extension cords
m Lacerations to the backside of the body
(whipping)
m Series or groups of straight line lacerations
or welts
• Head trauma
m Black eyes
m Split lips or loose teeth
m Lumps on the head
m Facial bruises, or bruising behind the ear
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Please note that these behavioral indicators
must be considered with other evidence. Ask yourself
these questions when determining whether physical
abuse has occurred:
•
•
•
5
Demonstrating behavioral extremes, including
very aggressive or demanding conduct
Appearing frightened of the parent or
caretaker
Being full of rage, passive or withdrawn
Being apprehensive when other children cry
Verbally reporting abuse
Being extremely hyperactive, distractible or
irritable
Demonstrating disorganized thinking, self
injuries or suicidal behavior
Running away from home or engaging in
illegal behavior such as drug abuse, gang
activity or cult activity
Displaying severe depression, flashbacks
(including hallucinatory experiences) and
dissociative disorders
Sudden changes in behavior
Child starts wetting or soiling clothing or bed
Sleep problems including nightmares
Cannot recall how injuries occurred or offers
an inconsistent explanation
Is the explanation consistent with physical
evidence?
Are there any other physical or behavior
indicators?
Are there family/environmental stresses that
are apparent?
PHYSICAL ABUSE
Abusive Head Trauma (formerly known as Shaken Baby Syndrome)
Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) is an inflicted traumatic brain injury that occurs when a baby is violently shaken
or slammed. Shaking has significant impact on a child under age two because their neck muscles are generally
weak and the head is quite large in comparison with the body. The brain of an infant is not well protected like that
of an adult as the skull of an infant is relatively unstable and still developing.
Symptoms of AHT are:
• Altered level of consciousness – sleepy, yet irritable, or may have seizures or even be in a coma
• Eyes unable to focus
• Poor sucking or swallowing
• Irritability
• Lethargy
• Difficulty breathing
• Signs of shock: pale, sweating, vomiting, listless
• May have abdominal and/or chest injuries present
Distinguishing Abuse from Accident
The very nature of childhood invites accidents. Children are curious and fearless. They run, climb, jump, and
explore. A child’s motor skills usually outpace cognitive skills, allowing the child to approach danger without
recognizing it. How can you distinguish the accidental injury caused by the exuberance of childhood from the
non-accidental injury caused by the abuse of an adult?
When observing injury you suspect might be the result of abuse, consider:
• Where is the injury? Certain locations on the body are more likely to sustain accidental injury: knees,
elbows, shins, and the forehead; all are parts of the body which can be injured during an accidental fall or bump.
Protected parts of the body, such as the back, thighs, genital area, buttocks, back of the legs, or face, are less
likely to accidentally come into contact with objects which could cause injury. It is important to remember to look
for other indicators and the history.
• How many injuries does the child have? Are there several injuries occurring at one time or over a period
of time? The greater the number of injuries, the greater the cause for concern. Unless involved in a serious
accident, a child is not likely to sustain a number of different injuries accidentally. Injuries in different stages of
healing can suggest a chronological pattern of occurrence.
• What are the size and shape of the injuries? Many non-accidental injuries are inflicted with familiar
objects: a stick, a board, a belt, a hair brush. The marks which result bear strong resemblance to the object which
was used. For example, welts caused by beating a child with an electrical cord might be loop-shaped; a belt
might cause bruises in the shape of the buckle. Accidental marks resulting from bumps and falls usually have no
defined shape.
• Does the description of how the injury occurred seem likely? If an injury is accidental, there should be
a reasonable explanation of how it happened which is consistent with its severity, type and location. When the
description of how the injury occurred and the appearance of the injury do not seem related, there is cause for
concern.
• Is the injury consistent with the child’s developmental capabilities? As a child grows and gains new
skills, he increases his ability to engage in activities which can cause injury. A toddler trying to run is likely to
suffer bruised knees and a bump on the head before the skill is perfected. He is less likely to suffer a broken arm
than is an eight-year-old who has discovered the joy of climbing trees. A two-week-old infant does not have the
movement capability to self-inflict a bruise.
6
SEXUAL ABUSE
Definition
Sexual Abuse is any contact or interaction with a child in which the child is being used for the sexual stimulation
of the perpetrator, the child, or another person. Sexual abuse shall include allowing, permitting, or encouraging
a child to engage in prostitution or to be photographed, filmed, or depicted in obscene or pornographic material.
Contact solely between children shall meet the criteria only if the contact also involves force, intimidation,
difference in maturity, or coercion. (K.S.A. 38-2202 and KAR 30-46-10)
Sexual exploitation of a child is to be reported. Sexual exploitation of a child is “employing, using, persuading,
inducing, enticing, or coercing a child under 16 years of age to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the
purpose of promoting any performance”
Sexual abuse also includes any contacts or interactions between a child and/or an adult in which the child is
being used for the sexual stimulation of the adult or any other person.
Indicators of Sexual Abuse
There are both physical and behavioral indicators of sexual abuse. The following are some physical and
behavioral indicators that a child is being sexually abused. This is a list of common indicators and is not all
inclusive as there could be other indicators presented.
Common Physical Indicators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Sexually transmitted venereal disease or infection, including oral infections
Pregnancy, especially in early adolescents
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
Difficulty or pain in walking and/or sitting
Foreign matter in the bladder, rectum, urethra, or vagina
Painful discharge of urine and/ or repeated urinary infections
Bruising, trauma and lesions inside or around the mouth
It is important to note that the physical symptoms listed
above are not normally seen in young children and are
often difficult (impossible in some cases) to explain by
any other cause than sexual abuse. Children are not
typically physically hurt during a sexual abuse;
therefore, special attention should be paid to
behavioral indicators.
7
Common Behavioral Indicators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Verbally reporting abuse
Seductive behavior, advanced sexual knowledge for the child’s age, promiscuity, prostitution
Expressing fear of a particular person or place
Excessive masturbation, precocious sex play, excessive curiosity about sex
Sexually abusing another child
Delinquency, runaway or truancy
Self-injurious behaviors, suicide attempts
Extreme fear of being touched; unwilling to
submit to physical examination
Poor peer relationships
An adult who may be sexually abusing a child may
exhibit these behaviors:
•
•
Acting extremely protective or jealous of the child
Encouraging the child to engage in prostitution or sexual acts
SEXUAL ABUSE - MYTHS AND FACTS
MYTH: You usually can spot a child sexual abuser.
FACT: Unless you are clinically trained and given the opportunity for diagnostic assessment, it is unlikely that you
could identify a child sexual abuser. The perpetrator usually does not suffer from psychosis and is likely to engage in
ordinary work and social activities. It is difficult to “avoid” a child sexual abuser. Even the most cautious and vigilant
of parents cannot, nor would they want to, keep a 24-hour watch on their child. Besides, the adults who are prone to
sexually abuse children often choose work or activities which bring them into contact with children. The best line of
defense against sexual abuse is education. The second is communication. Parents are primary teachers of children
and are responsible for showing them how to survive and how to cope with life. The first thing parents can do to
protect their children is to teach them to protect themselves, to communicate their fears, and to talk about their daily
activities. Certainly all children should be taught the dangers of the unknown. In most instances of sexual abuse,
however, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. The abuser may be a member of the family, a relative, a
baby-sitter or a neighbor.
MYTH: Sexual abuse of children always occurs between adult men who exploit young girls and adult women
who exploit young boys.
FACT: The majority of cases that are referred to child protection agencies involve adult men and underage girls.
When boys are abused or exploited, they usually are the victims of adult males. This is not to say that other types of
abuse do not occur, merely that they are not reported at the same rate. Some researchers hold the opinion that sibling
incest is by far the most widespread form of incest. The comparatively lower rate of reported mother-son incest may
be the result of the lower incidence of accompanying physical injury, a societal perception of its being less harmful, or
a general disbelief in its existence.
MYTH: The child sexual abuser relies on physical violence.
FACT: The child sexual abuser rarely uses physical violence and usually will avoid its use; injury may lead to
discovery. The sexual abuser is more likely to use power and authority as an adult (or older child) to coerce the child
victim through bribes, threats, and the child’s fear of the unknown. Children are taught to obey without question or
resistance. The abuser’s most powerful weapons are authority and secrecy.
MYTH: The sexual abuser can be the victim of the seductive or sexually promiscuous child.
FACT: The child is the victim. A seductive or promiscuous child often is the result, but never the cause, of sexual
abuse. One characteristic common to sexual abusers is a capacity for rationalizing their actions, mentally justifying
an illegal, unacceptable, and inappropriate behavior as necessary and right. Perpetrating the myth of the seductive or
sexually promiscuous child is one way of doing this. Through this type of reasoning, the abuser shifts the blame onto
someone else. In the same manner, incestuous parents often justify their own sexual behavior as a way of teaching
children or keeping them off the street. These justifications ignore the abuser’s responsibility as an adult, the child’s
vulnerability and dependency on the adult, and the long-term harm to the child.
MYTH: Using electronic communications (cell phones, videos, email, Internet, etc) does not involve physical
contact and therefore is not sexual abuse.
FACT: Children can be victims of sexual exploitation by use of electronic media. Taking explicit pictures of a child and
posting them on the Internet could be considered sexual abuse. Having sexually explicit conversations with a child via
phone, internet or text for the sexual stimulation of either party, could be considered sexual abuse.
“Reporting child abuse is important because every child has the right to grow up feeling
safe and secure in their surroundings. Intervention is necessary to prevent the repeating
pattern of abuse in families.”
- CHILD CARE PROVIDER
8
SEXUAL ABUSE - MYTHS AND FACTS
MYTH: The sexual abuser will abuse a child once and then find another victim.
FACT: If the sexual abuser is a stranger, this usually is true. This type of perpetrator will abuse many children a single
time, generally stopping only if caught. The “stranger abuser” often lures a child by appealing to the child’s
helpfulness or by posing as a friend of the parents or other authority figure. When the sexual abuser is known to the
child, however, the methods of seduction usually are very different. The abuse frequently will be of long duration,
escalating in frequency and intimacy over time. The “known abuser” builds upon a relationship with the child, using the
child’s innocence and trust as main weapons.
MYTH: The lower the family income and social status, the higher the likelihood of sexual abuse.
FACT: Socioeconomic status is of no help in identifying sexual abuse. Sexual abuse appears to occur at all levels of
income and education. Most of the families present an appearance of respectability. The vast majority of parents hold
jobs, function well in the community, and are respected by their peers
MYTH: In the majority of cases, sexually abused children want to leave their homes permanently.
FACT: On the contrary, most children do not want their families disrupted; they simply want the abuse to stop.
MYTH: Sexual touching between children (i.e.: siblings, neighbors, cousins) is not abuse and should not be
reported.
FACT: Sexual contact between siblings should always be reported. Contact between non-related children may or
may not be abusive. There is normal sexual exploration at certain developmental stages. This should occur between
age mates. If the age difference is troubling or if there is power or coercion used, a report should be made.
MYTH: Sexual contact between children always indicates they are acting out sexual abuse.
FACT: At certain developmental stages there will be normal exploration of sexuality. This could also be from non
intentional exposure to adult media and literature.
MYTH: Once incest is brought to the attention of the authorities, the family admits the problem and seeks
help.
FACT: The denial system of the family usually is very strong. Generally, family members will assert that nothing has
happened or if confronted with undeniable circumstances, claim that “it will never happen again.” In this circumstance,
treatment is very difficult. If the victim returns home without intensive intervention in the family system, the old patterns
of sexual abuse may continue.
MYTH: The legal age of consent for sexual contact in Kansas is 16 so once a child is 16 they cannot be the
victim of sexual abuse.
FACT: There are many variables which must be considered when determining if a child has been sexually abused.
Whether or not they are of age to consent is just one. If a 16 or 17 year old has entered a sexual relationship with
someone who has power or control over them such as a teacher or a coach this may be a sexual abuse situation. If
the adult with power or control over the teen is also a relative, sexual abuse is a definite possibility, perhaps a certainty. If someone uses coercion to convince a 16 or 17 year old to have sex with them, this too may be sexual abuse.
9
EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Definition
Mental or Emotional Abuse: Infliction of mental or emotional harm or the causing of a deterioration of a child, and
may include, but shall not be limited to, maltreatment or exploiting a child to the extent the child’s health or
emotional wellbeing is endangered. This term may include any act, behavior, or omission that impairs or
endangers a child’s social or intellectual functioning. This term may include the following:
•
•
•
Terrorizing a child, by creating a climate of fear or engaging in violent or threatening behavior toward the child or toward others in the child’s presence that demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the child;
Emotionally abandoning a child, by being psychologically unavailable to the child, demonstrating no
attachment to the child, or failing to provide adequate nurturance of the child; and
Corrupting a child, by teaching or rewarding the child for unlawful, antisocial, or sexually mature behaviors.
Emotional abuse or maltreatment is a consistent, chronic behavior by an adult that has a harmful effect on the
child. It involves a pattern of attitudes or acts that are detrimental to the child’s development of a sound and
healthy personality. Each of us may be guilty of having unkindly snubbed a child or of having criticized him/her
too harshly. However, emotional abuse, as defined here, seriously impairs the child’s social, emotional or
intellectual functioning.
Indicators of Emotional Abuse
Physical indicators are not commonly associated with Emotional Abuse; however there are many behavioral
indicators that can be presented by the child and the adult abuser. The following are some physical and
behavioral indicators that the child and adult may display. This is a list of common indicators and is not all
inclusive as there could be other indicators presented.
Common Physical Indicators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Common Behavioral Indicators
Daytime anxiety and unrealistic fears
Irrational and persistent fears, dreads, or hatreds
Sleep problems, nightmares
Behavioral extremes
Biting, rocking, head-banging, or thumb sucking in an older child (habit disorders)
Substance abuse
Cutting
Fire starting
Loss of interest
Sudden grade changes
Changes in behavior, personality or appearance
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Rejecting or belittling the child (making the child
feel he/she can do nothing right)
Ignoring the child (taking little or no interest in the
child)
Terrorizing the child by blaming the child for things
over which the child has no control
Isolating the child (cutting the child off from normal
social experiences)
Corrupting the child (teaching the child socially
deviant patterns of behavior)
Repeatedly giving the child contradictory
messages that leave the child confused and
incapable of pleasing the adult
Using an inconsistent, unpredictable, erratic and
threatening style of discipline
It is important to remember that maltreatment by a caregiver is not the cause of all behavioral, emotional, or
developmental problems in children. Ask these questions when considering whether or not emotional abuse is
occurring:
•
•
Do interactions between adult and child seem primarily negative?
Are specific instances of emotional abuse or maltreatment frequently observed?
10
NEGLECT
Definitions
Physical Neglect: Acts or omissions by a parent, guardian, or person responsible for the care of a child resulting
in harm to a child, or presenting a likelihood of harm, and the acts or omissions are not due solely to the lack of
financial means of the child’s parents or other custodian. This term may include but shall not be limited to: failure
to provide the child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child. K.S.A. 382202
Medical Neglect: ) Acts or omissions by a parent, guardian, or person responsible for the care of a child resulting
in harm to a child, or presenting a likelihood of harm, and the acts or omissions are not due solely to the lack of
financial means of the child’s parents or other custodian. This term may include the following, but shall not be
limited to:
• Failure to use resources available to treat a diagnosed medical condition if such treatment will make a child
substantially more comfortable, reduce pain and suffering, or correct or substantially diminish a crippling
condition from worsening.
• A parent legitimately practicing religious beliefs who does not provide specified medical treatment for a child
because of religious beliefs shall not for that reason be considered a negligent parent. (KSA 38-2202)
Lack of Supervision: Acts or omissions by a parent, guardian, or person responsible for the care of a child
resulting in harm to a child, or presenting a likelihood of harm, and the acts or omissions are not due solely to the
lack of financial means of the child’s parents or other custodian. This term may include the following, but shall
not be limited to: failure to provide adequate supervision of a child or to remove a child from a situation which
requires judgment or actions beyond the child’s level of maturity, physical condition or mental abilities and that
results in bodily injury or a likelihood of harm to the child. (KSA 38-2202)
Abandonment: to forsake, desert or cease providing care for the child without making appropriate provisions for
substitute care. (KSA 38-2202)
Indicators of Neglect
While physical abuse is usually episodic, physical neglect tends to be chronic. There are physical and behavioral
indicators of physical neglect. This is a list of common indicators and is not all inclusive as there could be other
indicators presented.
Common Physical Indicators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
11
Constant hunger
Lack of proper supervision, abandonment
or desertion
Lack of adequate clothing and good hygiene
Clothing consistently not appropriate for weather
conditions
Lack of medical or dental care
Lack of adequate nutrition and shelter
Failure to achieve expected growth patterns
Physical and speech delays
Failure to thrive physically or emotionally
Child states feeling pain in the mouth, jaw or ear
Diagnosed signs of dental decay and the child states feeling pain and has difficulty eating
Common Behavioral Indicators
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Begging, stealing and hoarding food
Extended stays at school
Constant fatigue
Delinquency
States there is no caretaker
Runaway behavior
Conduct disorders
Behavior extremes
Develops habits such as sucking, biting, and
rocking
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Kansas Reporting Laws: Mandated reporters are required to report child abuse or neglect under the Kansas
reporting law (K.S.A. 38-2223) as follows:
(a) Persons making reports. (1) When any of the following persons has reason to suspect that a child has been
harmed as a result of physical, mental or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, the person shall report the
matter promptly as provided in subsections (b) and (c);
(A) The following persons providing medical care or treatment: Persons licensed to practice the healing arts,
dentistry and optometry; persons engaged in postgraduate training programs approved by the state board of healing
arts; licensed professional or practical nurses; and chief administrative officers of medical care facilities;
(B) the following persons licensed by the state to provide mental health services: Licensed psychologists, licensed
masters level psychologists, licensed clinical psychotherapists, licensed social workers, licensed marriage and family
therapists, licensed clinical marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical
professional counselors and registered alcohol and drug abuse counselors;
(C) teachers, school administrators or other employees of an educational institution which the child is attending and
persons licensed by the secretary of health and environment to provide child care services or the employees of
persons so licensed at the place where the child care services are being provided to the child; and
(D) firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, juvenile intake and assessment
workers, court services officers and community corrections officers, case managers appointed under K.S.A. 2005
Supp. 23-1001 et seq., and amendments thereto, and mediators appointed under K.S.A. 23-602, and amendments
thereto.
(E) any person employed by or who works as a volunteer for any organization, whether for profit or not-for-profit,
that provides social services to pregnant teenagers, including, but not limited to, counseling, adoption services and
pregnancy education and maintenance.
(2) In addition to the reports required under subsection (a)(1), any person who has reason to suspect that a child
may be a child in need of care may report the matter as provided in subsection (b) and (c).
(b) Form of report. (1) The report may be made orally and shall be followed by a written report if requested. Every
report shall contain, if known: The names and addresses of the child and the child’s parents or other persons
responsible for the child’s care; the location of the child if not at the child’s residence; the child’s gender, race and age;
the reasons why the reporter suspects the child may be a child in need of care; if abuse or neglect or sexual abuse
is suspected, the nature and extent of the harm to the child, including any evidence of previous harm; and any other
information that the reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the harm and the identity of the
persons responsible for the harm.
(2) When reporting a suspicion that a child may be in need of care, the reporter shall disclose protected health
information freely and cooperate fully with the secretary and law enforcement throughout the investigation and any
subsequent legal process.
(c) To whom made. Reports made pursuant to this section shall be made to the secretary, except as follows:
(1) When the department of social and rehabilitation services is not open for business, reports shall be made to the
appropriate law enforcement agency. On the next day that the department is open for business, the law enforcement
agency shall report to the department any report received and any investigation initiated pursuant to K.S.A. 38-2226,
and amendments thereto. The reports may be made orally or, on request of the secretary, in writing.
(2) Reports of child abuse or neglect occurring in an institution operated by the secretary of the department for
social and rehabilitations services or the commissioner of juvenile justice shall be made to the attorney general. All
other reports of child abuse or neglect by persons employed by or of children of persons employed by the department
of social and rehabilitation services shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(d) Death of child. Any person who is required by this section to report a suspicion that a child is in need of care
and who knows of information relating to the death of a child shall immediately notify the coroner as provided by
K.S.A. 22a-242, and amendments thereto.
(e) Violations. (1) Willful and knowing failure to make a report required by this section is a class B misdemeanor. It is
not a defense that another mandatory reporter made a report.
(2) Intentionally preventing or interfering with the making of a report required by this section is a class B
misdemeanor.
12
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
(3) Any person who willfully and knowingly makes a false report pursuant to this section or makes a report that
such person knows lacks factual foundation is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
(f) Immunity from liability. Anyone who, without malice, participates in the making of a report to the secretary or a
law enforcement agency relating to a suspicion a child may be a child in need of care or who participates in any
activity or investigation relating to the report or who participates in any judicial proceeding resulting from the report
shall have immunity from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the legal penalty if a mandated reporter fails to report suspected child abuse?
A: CLASS B MISDEMEANOR. Failure of a mandated reporter to make a report is a crime which could result in a
$1,000 fine or up to six (6) months in jail. Some agencies may expect staff to discuss abuse situations with their
supervisor before reporting. However, if a staff member believes a report of child abuse or neglect needs to be made
to DCF or law enforcement, it is the responsibility of the staff member to report, whether or not the supervisor is in
agreement. Employers are prohibited from imposing sanctions on employees making report or cooperating in
investigations. K.S.A. 38-2224
Q: Is a reporter liable for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect?
A: Kansas law provides immunity from liability for reporters of child abuse.
Q: Would a reporter incur any civil liability if required to participate in court proceedings as a witness?
A: No.
Q: On what basis may a report of suspected child abuse be made?
A: A report must be made by a mandated reporter if there is reason to suspect that a child has been harmed as a
result of physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Q: What does “reason to suspect” mean?
A: “Reason to suspect” means anytime anyone believes or has a hint, or a clue, a child is, or has been a victim of
abuse or neglect. A reporter may have “reason to suspect” when there is a discrepant or inconsistent history in
explaining a child’s injury. An example of a discrepant history would be a situation in which a parent or caregiver of a
child describes the injury as accidental, but bruises are on multiple areas of the body and in various stages of healing,
indicating they were imposed at different times and were a result of more than one incident as opposed to a single
accidental injury. Consider whether the description of how the injury occurred seems likely. If the injury is accidental,
there should be a reasonable explanation of how it happened which is consistent with the severity, type and location
of the injury. When the description of how the injury occurred and the appearance of the injury do not seem related,
there is cause for concern (“a reason to suspect”).
A report based on “reason to suspect” also means the law does not require proof that abuse or neglect has actually
occurred or that the reporter witnessed the incident in question. A reporter’s suspicion may result from an incident the
reporter witnessed, a child’s disclosure, or third party information. Once a mandated reporter is aware of any
information which causes a “reason to suspect”, the reporter is mandated by law to report the concerns. Further, a
reporter is relieved of the need to make a final determination of whether or not child abuse or neglect actually
occurred. Reporting is a request for an assessment into the condition of a child.
13
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
There have been public reports of children who have been coached to provide false allegations. As a reporter, it is
important that the public confusion regarding false allegations not discredit the reports of children who have been
traumatized by abuse. The determination of whether abuse or neglect has actually occurred is the responsibility of
DCF or appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Q: What if an employer has separate policies for reporting child abuse or neglect?
A: Often employers have policies separate from the statutes for reporting suspicions or concerns of child abuse or
neglect; such as, notifying a supervisor first. It is important to note, any local policies or procedures do not supersede
a mandated reporters statutory requirement to report. As a mandated reporter, you are responsible to report your
concerns.
Q: What if a mandated reporter believes the situation has already been reported; is there still a requirement to
report?
A: Yes. Reference: K.S.A. 38-2223 (e) Violations (1) “It is not a defense that another mandatory reporter made a
report”.
Q: Can a mandated reporter make a report anonymously?
A: If a mandated reporter chooses to remain anonymous, DCF will not have documentation to support the person
made a report to use as a defense against a failure to report charge.
Q: How should the report be made?
A: The report may be made orally and followed by a written report if requested by the State of Kansas Department for
Children and Families (DCF) or law enforcement agencies.
Q: What type of information should a report contain?
A: Both mandated reporters and concerned citizens should attempt to include the following information:
•
•
•
•
•
The name and address of the child, the child’s parents, or other individuals responsible for the child’s care
The child’s location
The child’s condition, including the nature and extent of the child’s injury
Whether the alleged perpetrator has access to the child
Any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful in showing the cause of the injuries or the extent
to which the child might be in danger.
Q: To whom should reports of suspected child abuse or neglect be made?
A: Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect should be made to the Kansas Protection Report Center or if the child
has serious injuries or is in immediate danger to the appropriate law enforcement agency. (On the next day that DCF
is open for business, the law enforcement agency will report to DCF any report received and any investigation
initiated.)
Reports of abuse and neglect in an DCF institution (such as State hospitals) should be made to DCF or the Attorney
General’s office at (785) 296-7968. Reports of DCF employees as alleged perpetrators should be made to local law
enforcement agencies. Kansas law requires that these types of cases not be investigated by DCF.
A reporter should call the statewide number 1-800-922-5330. The Kansas Protection Report Center can be called
24-hours a day, seven days a week and may be reached from any location. Reports are referred to the appropriate
local office to be investigated. If the DCF office is closed, Kansas Protection Report Center staff immediately refer
emergency to local law enforcement agencies.
“I believe it’s an obligation for all people to be concerned and make
reports on child abuse.”
- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
14
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
In addition, reports can also be made by:
• Telephone: 1-800-922-5330
• Fax: Sent to KSPRC (Kansas Protection Report
Center) 1-866-317-4279
• Email: KSPRC@dcf.ks.gov
• Mail: Kansas Protection Report Center
Docking State Office Building
915 SW Harrison, 5th floor
Topeka, KS 66612
• On-Line Web Intake: The Kansas Protection Report Center (KPRC) has an option for mandated reporters to report concerns of child and adult abuse or neglect online.
Mandated reporters may access the on-line report at: http://www.
dcf.ks.gov/Pages/HotlineNumbers.aspx . In the event this link is not
viable, try: http://www.dcf.ks.gov, select “Hotline Numbers” under the
list of “Quick Links” right of screen. On the Hotline Numbers page look
for “Mandatory Reporters” and a link “Kansas Intake/Investigation
Protection System”.
Q: Will the identity of the reporter be disclosed once a report is
made?
A: Kansas law provides the identity of the reporter may not be disclosed
to the child’s parents, persons having legal responsibility for the child or to such persons’ legal representatives. The
protection is not absolute, however. If a case is heard in court or if an DCF finding is appealed and heard in a DCF
administrative hearing, there is a possibility the identity of a reporter will be discovered.
Q: What can a reporter know about a case once a report is made?
A: Kansas law requires confidentiality of all records and reports of child abuse or neglect received by DCF or law
enforcement agencies. DCF may inform the reporter of child abuse or neglect the agency’s decision to either accept
the report for investigation; or to not assign for further assesment.
Q: If an agency receives a court order to disclose confidential information about an individual under
investigation, what procedure should be followed?
A: Under Kansas law, a multidisciplinary team, DCF, or law enforcement agency may request disclosure of
documents, reports or information by applying to a court for an order to release information. If a Subpoena or order is
received for a person and/or their records, the person will be given an opportunity to notify the court of any objection. A
judge will then make a final decision as to what information to disclose.
Q: What does Kansas law require of child protection and law enforcement agencies concerning the
investigation of child abuse and neglect?
A: DCF and law enforcement agencies have the duty to receive and investigate reports of child abuse or neglect for
the purpose of determining whether the report is valid and whether action is required to protect the child from further
abuse or neglect.
If the DCF determines that no action is necessary to protect the child but that a criminal prosecution should be
considered, then DCF may make a report of the case to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
15
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Q: How quickly are reports of suspected child abuse or neglect investigated?
A: Based on the age of the child, nature of the allegation, continued access of the perpetrator to the child, and other
factors, Kansas Protection Report Center social workers determine the response time assignment for the report. If the
Kansas Protection Report Center social worker determines a child is in imminent risk of serious harm, the report is
assigned a same day response time. These reports may require the involvement of law enforcement. If the report
does not allege a child is in imminent risk of serious harm, DCF must respond within 72 hours excluding weekends
and holidays. If the report alleges that a child may be in need of services for reasons not related to maltreatment, DCF
shall respond within 20 working days.
Q: Where do I report a suspected incident with a child that lives on an Indian reservation?
A: The Kansas Protection Report Center accepts reports for all children. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 was
enacted to give Indian tribes more authority over their children, both on and off the reservation. A state court
proceeding that may result in the out-of-home placement of an Indian child triggers the Act.
Q: Under what circumstances is a joint investigation of child abuse or neglect between child protection
agencies and the appropriate law enforcement agencies required under Kansas law?
A: A joint investigation by DCF and the appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies is required when a report of
child abuse or neglect indicates the following:
•
•
•
Serious physical injury or deterioration; or
Sexual abuse of the child; and
Reason to believe action may be required to protect the child
In the course of a joint investigation, there should also be a free exchange of information between the agencies. In the
event a statement is obtained by either agency, a copy of the statement must be provided to the other agency upon
request.
Q: Does DCF report investigations of licensed facilities to the Department of Health and Environment?
A: Investigations involving a facility subject to licensing or regulation are promptly reported to the State Department of
Health and Environment. Establishments licensed by the Department of Health and Environment include:
•
•
•
Maternity centers
Residential facilities for children and youth
Child Care
Q: Are school personnel required to provide DCF access to a child?
A: School personnel, DCF and law enforcement agencies must cooperate in the investigation of reports of suspected
child abuse or neglect. Furthermore, administrators of elementary and secondary schools must provide employees of
DCF and law enforcement agencies access to a child in a non-threatening environment on school premises
determined by school personnel for the purpose of investigating a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. School
personnel should only be present during the investigation at the request of law enforcement or DCF.
Q: When may a law enforcement officer remove the child from his/her home?
A: A law enforcement officer is authorized to remove the child from the location where the child is found if the officer
reasonably believes that the child is in imminent danger. DCF may not remove the child from a location without a court
order. However, DCF can contact law enforcement agencies if the child is in immediate physical danger.
“It is important that we do what is necessary now with prevention, intervention and
education to stop child abuse. The price emotionally, physically and monetarily
only increases for the individual and society when the issue of child abuse is left
unaddressed.”
- TEACHER
16
INVESTIGATION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Q: What happens when a child is under the protective custody of a law enforcement officer?
A: When any law enforcement officer takes a child into custody without a court order, the child must be delivered to
the custody of the parent or caregiver unless there is reason to believe that it would not be in the best interest of the
child. If the child is not delivered to the custody of the parent or caregiver, the child must be delivered to a facility or
person designated by DCF or to a court-designated shelter or person. A court hearing is required within 72 hours (not
including weekends or holidays) to determine if the child can be returned home.
Q: Are Multidisciplinary Child Protection Teams used in the investigation of and response to reports of child
abuse?
A: Yes. Multidisciplinary Teams may be appointed by the court at the
recommendation of DCF or the county or district attorney to assist
DCF with the investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect.
Teams may be composed of a standing group of community experts
from a variety of disciplines or may be specific to a case, bringing
together professionals who have knowledge about the child and
family. The team members review the selected case(s) brought to
their attention, share knowledge they have about specific children,
and recommend a plan of action. To determine the existence of a
Multidisciplinary Team in a particular area, contact the local DCF
office.
Q: What is the role of the Child Advocacy Center?
A: A Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is an agency where a team
of professions including DCF, law enforcement, prosecutors, therapists, medical providers and victim advocates come
together to respond to cases of suspected or alleged child abuse, especially sexual and serious physical abuse.
Children are referred to a CAC by DCF, law enforcement or other designated professionals after a report is made
about suspected abuse. At the CAC, forensic interviews take place with children about their experience. Interviews are
completed by a trained interviewer and take place in a neutral, child-friendly setting. Victim Advocates at the CAC
educate families about the dynamics of abuse, connect children with specialized mental health and medical care,
either provided onsite or a referred to a facility in the community, and identify other helpful community resources. The
goal of a CAC is to maintain a professional response to child abuse that is child-centered and makes the process
easier for abused children and their families.
Children’s Advocacy Centers are required to follow state guidelines defined in K.S.A. 38-2227 and are modeled on a
specific set of standards developed by the National Children’s Alliance. Many CACs in Kansas are nationally
accredited and others are working toward securing accreditation. To find out if a CAC is active in your area, go to
www.kscac.org and link to “CACs in Kansas” for a current map of CAC service areas.
Q: What is the DCF response to child abuse and neglect following investigation?
A: Services for prevention and treatment of child abuse may be provided by DCF and other community resources to
children and families such as: intensive in-home services, family preservation services, in-home visits, parenting
classes, foster care, referrals to mental health centers, drug and alcohol treatment, and Batterer’s Intervention
Programs. It is always the goal of DCF to maintain children with their families when this can be done safely.
17
THE
DCFASSESSMENT
ASSESSMENT
PROCESS
THE DCF
PROCESS
FOR FOR
ALLEGATIONS
OFCHILD
CHILD
ABUSE
NEGLECT
ALLEGATIONS OF
ABUSE
AND AND
NEGLECT
Allegation of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect is received from a reporter
Initial Assessment Decision and Response Determination are done by the Kansas Protection Report Center. Reports are initially assessed to determine if they meet statutory criteria for further assessment. The response determination specifies how quickly contact with the alleged victim and/or family shall be initiated. Investigation, Family Assessment, and Finding to assess health and safety of child, and to determine whether abuse or neglect occurred. Depending on the assessment, the case is referred to...
...Protective Custody:
If the information shows that the child is in imminent danger
or harm, DCF may request a law enforcement officer to take the child into protective custody for as long as 72 hours pending court action
...District/County Attorney
may file petition to request a Child in Need of Care. District/
County Attorney can become involved on own initiative, but
usually at the request of DCF
...Family Services or Family Preservation may include direct services by DCF or referred to intensive in‐home Family Preservation services provided to prevent removal of child from the home
...Other Alternatives
may include referrals to community mental health center or other community services
District Court Evaluation and Placement
The court may release the child to the For children placed in DCF custody by the
parents or if there is evidence that the child court, DCF's placement options include: is not safe in the home the court can order foster care with services to unite the family, temporary custody pending the hearing. or adoption if indicated. While children are The court can find a child to be a Child In in DCF custody, services are provided to the Need of Care and grant custody to DCF or child and family and progress is reported to other person. The court can order the court. The court may return custody to family to accept family services, or can parents, grant custody to a relative, or dismiss the case.
sever parental rights to allow for adoption.
18
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION
Strengthening Families
Strengthening Families is a research-based, cost-effective strategy to increase family stability, enhance child
development,and reduce child abuse and neglect. The Strengthening Families Approach, developed by the
Center for the Study of Social Policy, promotes five protective factors that shifts the focus of prevention efforts
from risks and deficits to strengths and resiliency. By employing strategies that
increase protective factors, all families will be better equipped to deal with
stress and diminish factors that place them at risk for abuse and neglect.
Kansas is one of more than thirty states using the Strengthening Families
framework to establish a strengths-based approach that focuses on families.
The 5 Protective Factors are:
•
•
•
•
•
Nurturing and Attachment - Building a close bond helps parents better understand, respond to, and communicate with their children.
Knowledge of Child/Youth Development- Parents learn what to look for at each age and how to help their children reach their full potential.
Parental Resilience- Recognizing the signs of stress and enhancing problem-solving skills can help parents build their capacity to cope.
Social Connections- Parents with an extensive network of family, friends, and neighbors have better
support in times of need.
Concrete Supports for Parents- Caregivers with access to financial, housing, and other concrete resources that help them meet their basic needs can better attend to their role as parents.
For more information, visit the Kansas Strengthening Families Plan online at www.ksfplan.org.
What Can I do to Prevent Child Abuse?
It is important that mandated reporters and citizens in the community know what their role is in preventing child
abuse. The goal is to prevent abuse before it occurs. To do this, it is important that families receive the support
and help they need. Listed are some ways you can help strengthen families:
•
•
•
•
•
Advocate: Help change the way our state and nation thinks about prevention by focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start. Contact local, state and national lawmakers about the importance of prevention programs.
Volunteer: Serve on a committee or board. We all play a role in raising children whether we are
neighbors, educators, caregivers or family members.
Educate: Contact local school districts and faith communities about sponsoring classes for parents. Be a mentor to a new parent; share your skills with your neighbors. A healthy, nurturing environment for children is one of the best lifelong investments we can make.
Support: Get to know and support the children and families in your community. With the support of
engaged communities and nurturing families, all of our children can thrive. Know the resources available in your community and how to connect families to them. Call the Parent Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN.
Report: Recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse. If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect call the Protection and Report Center at 1-800-922-5330.
To learn more about child abuse prevention contact Prevent Child Abuse Kansas at 1-800-CHILDREN.
19
CONCLUSION
In 2010, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), with information collected from the
states, found in 2010 an estimated 3.3 million referrals were received concerning abuse/neglect of 5.9 million
children. 60.7% of these referrals were transferred for investigation or assessment. Of investigations, 25.7%
resulted in a disposition of either substantiated or indicated child maltreatment.
Information provided by Kansas for this national report is compiled from the Department for Children and
Families (DCF) Family and Child Tracking System (FACTS). This DCF data indicates that 27,915 reports of
suspected family maltreatment of children were investigated in Kansas from July 2009 to June 2010. During this
same time period, the Kansas Department for Children and Families received 55,730 reports alleging suspected
maltreatment.
Even when child abuse is not fatal, it can have disastrous effects on normal growth and development. It is
important to report suspected or known child abuse or neglect to protect the child. Dr. Bruce Perry once said:
“If 20 million people were infected by a virus that caused anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, sleep
problems, depression, respiratory and heart problems, vulnerability to substance abuse, antisocial
and criminal behavior, retardation and school failure, we would consider it an urgent public health
crisis. Yet in the United States alone, there are more than 20 million abused, neglected and
traumatized children vulnerable to these problems. Our society has yet to recognize the epidemic,
let alone develop an immunization strategy.”
The intent is to strengthen children and families by getting them the help they need. We all have a stake in
protecting children. The lessons necessary to development of interpersonal skills may not be taught in an
abusive or neglectful environment. The emotional damage that commonly accompanies child abuse or neglect
may be vented through self-destructive actions such as substance abuse, prostitution, suicide, or criminal acts
against others.
It is our hope that by encouraging the reporting of child
abuse and neglect and raising awareness to prevention
efforts taking place across the state, the state’s next
generation will be productive Kansans capable of
rearing their children in a caring, nurturing fashion.
Communities currently offer programs that promote
strengthening families and the prevention of child
abuse and neglect. Some programs include the Period
of PURPLE Crying® Shaken Baby Syndrome
Prevention Program, Parent Support Groups, Parent
Education, and early childhood home visitation models
such as Parents As Teachers, Healthy Families, Early
Head Start and Head Start.
20
NOTES
21
CREDITS
Printing was provided by the
State of Kansas, Division of Printing.
Layout was provided by the
Kansas Children’s Service League
The publication is funded by the
National Child Abuse and Neglect Center
through the
State of Kansas
Department for Children and Families,
Prevention and Protection Services
Acknowledgment is made in the use of materials published by the
Ohio Department of Human Services (“Child Abuse and Neglect, 1989”)
and Kansas Bar Associations Handbook For Lawyers, 1991.
Printed March 1992
Revised August 1994
Revised September 1997
Revised August 2001
Revised October 2004
Revised June 2006
Revised September 2008
Revised July 2010
Revised June 2012
22
The Parent Helpline
1-800-CHILDREN
Because Kids
Don’t Come With
Instructions
The Parent Helpline is a free,
anonymous information and referral
service. The Helpline is available
24 hours a day, seven days a week,
in English and Spanish, and can refer
you to services anywhere in Kansas.
Call the Parent Helpline whenever you
have a parenting question or concern.
To report suspected Child Abuse or Neglect:
Phone: 1-800-922-5330
Fax: 1-866-317-4279
Email: KSPRC@dcf.ks.gov
Online: http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/pps/Pages/KIPS/KIPSWebIntake.aspx
To order additional guides contact:
Kansas Children’s Service League
1365 N. Custer • Wichita, KS 67203
(316) 942-4261 • (877) 530-5275
Guide Sponsors:
Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America
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