Several school leaders asked WFIS this summer for support in reviewing mandatory reporting obligations with teachers.

There are essential components to child safety, including maintaining safe boundaries between teachers and students, defining appropriate online contact, and recognizing how and when staff must call CPS.

WFIS hosted Linda Clark, an Educational Service presenter for Clear Risk Solutions, to present on mandatory reporting. Topics covered:

  • The RCW on mandatory reporting
  • Law enforcement should be called immediately if a child is in imminent danger.
  • CPS needs to be contacted within 48 hours.
  • CPS has up to 90 days to respond to a report if there is no immediate danger of harm.
  • The link to your local CPS Office: How to Report Child Abuse or Neglect in WA.
  • The staff at school should understand the school’s specific CPS process. For example, should staff members talk with the administration before CPS is called?

It is critical for schools to file a report each time staff sees an issue. CPS cannot do anything immediately unless there are marks on a child. However, building a complaint file with multiple reports allows CPS to investigate.