Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

As educators, we care deeply about the safety and wellbeing of our students, which is why it is incredibly important that we take our obligation to report child abuse and neglect seriously.

If you have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or have observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, immediately report it to:

See How Do I Report below for phone numbers.

Boulder Valley School District logo

When reporting, fill out BVSD's Child Abuse/Child Protection Report Form. It includes much of the information the agency will need to follow up on the report.

Colorado's Hotline

The Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Colorado flag and the sun

Under Colorado state law, educators are mandatory reporters, which means they must immediately report possible cases of child abuse and neglect.

What you need to know

What triggers reporting duty?

You are required to report if you have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or if you have observed a child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.

Source: Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19. Children's Code
§ 19-3-304  Persons required to report child abuse or neglect

 

BVSD Reporting Form
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Guidance

When do I report?

Report Immediately

All Boulder Valley School District employees are mandatory reporters.

They should immediately report any situation where they have reasonable cause to know or suspect a child (someone under the age of 18) has been subjected to abuse or neglect or they have observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.

Waiting to make a report, even it is for one hour or the next day is considered a failure to report and has led to criminal investigation and prosecution of educators in Colorado.

How do I report?

If you have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or have observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, immediately report it to:

What to expect

When you call, you will likely be asked several questions, including:

  • Child's name
  • Age
  • Address
  • Gender
  • School attended
  • Names of parents
  • Information about siblings
     

Step 1: Complete BVSD's Child Abuse/Child Protection Report Form

Boulder Valley School District's Child Abuse/Child Protection Report Form includes much of the information the agency will need to follow up on the report.

Step 2: Make the report

Contact law enforcement, child protective services or the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

Step 3: Notify your administrator

Provide the completed report form to your supervisor or building administrator.

Do not delay reporting and know: No one has the right to prevent you from fulfilling your mandatory reporter obligation.

Also, please know simply reporting to a supervisor, site administrator, school principal, school counselor or other person of authority does not substitute for making a mandated report.

The Law

Reporting child abuse and neglect is required under both BVSD Board Policy and Colorado state law.

Good faith is presumed
This presumption may only be overcome if a court determines that the conduct of the reporting party was willful, wanton and malicious.

Knowingly making a false report is
punishable as a misdemeanor.

Below are some of the consequences that educators may face, if they fail to report.
 

Criminal Liability

Failing to report is a Class 3 misdemeanor in Colorado, punishable by:

  • Up to six months in jail

and/or

  • A fine of up to $750

 

Civil Liability

Additionally, there is the potential of civil liability, which may result in the the cost of defense and an award of damages against you.
 

Professional Liability

Finally, failure to report may result in promotional liability including discipline, demotion or dismissal, and the possibility of suspension or revocation of credentials.

Abuse and Neglect: What to look for

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse: Defined

Any non-accidental physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) caused by punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand or other object), burning, etc.

Physical Abuse: What to look for

  • Unexplained Injuries (burns, bites, bruises, broken bones)
  • Past Injuries (fading bruises)
  • Fear (reluctance to go home)
  • Reports (child reports they were hurt by an adult)
  • Animal abuse by child
     

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse: Defined

Fondling A child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or production of pornographic materials.

Sexual Abuse: What to look for

  • Nightmares
  • Sudden change in appetite
  • Pregnancy
  • Venereal disease
  • Won’t change clothes for gym
  • Bedwetting
  • Runs away
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Attaches quickly to new adults
  • Unusual or sophisticated sexual knowledge or behavior

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse: Defined

Emotional abuse is defined as an identifiable and substantial impairment in a child's intellectual or psychological functioning or development or substantial risk of impairment of a child's intellectual or psychological functioning development. 

Emotional abuse includes, but is not limited to constant criticism, threats, rejection and withholding of love, support or guidance.
 

Emotional Abuse: What to look for

  • Acting older or younger than age
  • Overly compliant or passive
  • Aggressive or demanding
  • Delayed physical or emotional development
  • Suicide attempts
  • Lack of attachment to parents

Neglect

Neglect: Defined

Neglect is a case in which a child is in need of services because a child's parents, legal guardian or custodian fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision that a prudent parent would give.

Grooming

Grooming: Defined

According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional.

Grooming: What to look for

  • Spending time aline behind closed doors with students
  • Discussion of personal life/matters with students
  • Making sexually suggestive comments/jokes with students
  • Exchanging cellphone numbers with students
  • Friending students on social media accounts
  • Giving gifts to students
  • Excessively complementing or flattering students
  • Inappropriate physical contact, such as tickling, back rubs, piggy back rides
  • Taking a student on outings.