The following protocols must appear in the Teen REACH Policy and Procedures Manual: Appendix Z.
3.3.A. Mandated Reporting
Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act of 1975, those adults working with children and youth under the age of 18 years old having reasonable cause to believe a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or
neglected shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services' (DCFS) Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-2873).
Mandated reporters include recreational program or facility personnel and human service personnel who work with children under the age of 18 years old.
3.3.B. Suspected Family Cases of Abuse or Neglect
All Teen REACH providers and program sites must have a written procedure for reporting suspected cases of abuse and neglect that take place outside the center.
- Informing parents of the provider's role as mandated reporter. This may be included in orientation packets and information to parents;
- Identifying the person(s) on staff who will be responsible for filing such reports and informing the parents;
- Identifying the roles and responsibilities of group workers and volunteers in reporting such cases;
- Documenting all such incidents in a child's file;
- Identifying the person(s) responsible for following up on reports made to the DCFS Hotline and with the family.
3.3.C. Suspected Agency Cases of Abuse or Neglect
All Teen REACH providers and program sites must have a written procedure that covers expectations for the safe management of children and youth by staff and program volunteers, as well as handling cases of suspected abuse or neglect that may have
occurred while the participant is on program site. The procedure must include
- Supervision of staff in contact with children and youth;
- Clearly established norms of behavior for staff, especially training and procedures for handling children and youth with problem behaviors;
- A method for identifying, documenting, and reporting suspected cases of abuse or neglect within the agency; interim plans for the employee and child(ren) involved in the report while such an investigation is occurring; disciplinary action for
employees in such cases that are founded by DCFS.
3.3. D. Screening of Adults Working with Participants
Teen REACH providers must have written procedures for hiring and screening staff and volunteers who work with children ages 18 and under. Each program site must determine the level of background check that will be utilized for staff, volunteers, and
interns over 18 years of age. Liability insurance should also cover adults working with children and youth.
3.3.E. Background Checks
Background checks are required for all program staff and volunteers who have one-on one contact with children and youth. Funded programs are required to have a written protocol on file requiring background checks, as well as evidence of their
3.3.F. Types of Background Checks and Screenings
The following resources are available to programs in establishing protocols for background checks and screening:
The Illinois State Police Department provides fingerprinting and Sexual Offender listing. Contact www.isp.state.il.us.
CANTS, the child abuse and neglect tracking system determines whether an individual is currently alleged or has been indicated as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Service CANTS listings can be obtained through:
- Processing Control Unit and Background Checks
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Costs are an allowable expenditure.