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Reporting Child Abuse

Whether you plan to study child abuse specifically or you will simply work with minors, it is important to understand the rules for reporting child abuse. This section specifically summarizes reporting regulations for public schools; for a more complete discussion, please see Child Abuse.

Who should report?
Any teacher or other person employed in a public or private school, kindergarten or nursery school is legally required to report child abuse. Beyond legal obligations, please consider your ethical obligation to protect your participants and protect children in general. 

How do I report?
Each school district is responsible for developing protocol for reporting child abuse, so you should talk to the principal or school administrator about their policies.  Albemarle County School District, for example, requires that the principal be notified about the incident. The principal will then contact the appropriate institutions, such as the Department of Social Services.

For more information about child abuse reporting requirements, please see the Code of Virginia.

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