April is Child Abuse Prevention Month-WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REPORTING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE
Did you know that you are a mandatory reporter for abuse and neglect in Texas? We all know that certain professionals are required to report, in fact these professionals are mandated to report within 48 hours of their suspicion or discovery of the abuse or neglect. Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS. It is important to remember that you do not need to have actual evidence, know that it is in fact true, or need to investigate further. You only need to have a “cause to believe” in order to report. Did you know that you can report abuse online through the Texas Abuse Hotline Website as well as by phone (1-800-252-5400)? Either method keeps your name confidential. Please call 911 if there is an immediate emergency.
Please act if you are aware of a situation that needs to be reported. If a child outcries to you, there are several do’s and don’ts that are important to remember. Stay calm, as hard as that may be, listen, and do not overwhelm the child with questions. Do not be the keeper of this information as it is your responsibility to report what you know.
(Written by Diane Ewing)
THINGS YOU CAN DO THIS MONTH AT MANCHACA UMC:
Wear a blue ribbon to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month and to show your support for safe children and strong, healthy families! You can pick up a blue ribbon in the hospitality area or on the back table in the Family Life Center.
Read our Children's Ministry Blog (posted on the website and on Facebook) all month to learn more about child abuse prevention and your role in stopping child abuse.
Read our Safe Sanctuary policy (also posted on the Children's Ministry page of our website) so that you can be aware of how we keep children, youth and vulnerable adults safe in our ministries.
Consider becoming a "Trusted" Adult through the Rio Texas Conference. The training will teach you how to recognize and respond to child abuse and neglect. You will also be safety certified to work with children, youth and vulnerable adults at any UM church in the Rio Texas Conference for 2 years! Contact Kim@ManchacaUMC.org if you are interested in learning more about the steps!
Donate a gently used or new stuffed animal to our Teddy Bear collection - to be given to the sheriff's department to share with children in crisis.