By Elizabeth Hewitt, VTDigger.org
The Department for Children and Families is reaching out to mandated reporters of child abuse across the state to inform them of policy changes related to the implementation of Act 60.
The new law took effect July 1, and DCF is raising awareness about how the policy changes affect mandatory reporters across the state. The law, which was written in response to the deaths of two toddlers last year who had been in contact with DCF, encompasses a wide array of changes to Vermont’s child protection system.
Lawmakers clarified the list of professionals who qualify as mandatory reporters this year, as well as the policies for reporting. Medical professionals, school district employees, child care workers and many others are required by law to inform DCF if they have reason to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected.
Under the new law, mandated reporters are required to make a report directly if they have reason to believe a child is being abused or neglected.
DCF is also in the process of establishing an online training portal where mandated reporters can learn about the new policies.
More information about responsibilities of mandated reporters is available on the DCF website, http://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/reporting/mandated