Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

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Overview of Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Alaska Statute 47, Chapter 17 (Child Protection), requires certain professionals to report child abuse or neglect that comes to their attention during the performance of their professional duties, if they have “reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered harm as a result of child abuse or neglect…”

Teachers and administrators are required by law to report to the nearest office of the Department of Health and Social Services, instances wherein the performance of their professional duties, they have cause to believe that a child has suffered harm as a result of abuse or neglect. The teacher or administrator who, in good faith, makes a report of abuse or neglect, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability.

Appropriate in-service training for professional staff shall be provided in accordance with state regulations.

Here is the official state resource page on reporting child abuse and neglect:

Alaska State Law

Who are mandated reporters?

The following persons who, in the performance of their professional duties, have reasonable cause to suspectthat a child has suffered harm as a result of abuse or neglect, must immediately (as soon as reasonably possible-no later than 24 hours) report that information to the nearest office of the state’s Department of Health & Social Services, Office of Children’s Services:

The law encourages the persons named above to also report cases that come to their attention in their nonprofessional capacities. Further, the law encourages any person to report instances of known or suspected abuse and neglect.

What are child abuse & neglect?

STATE LAW DEFINES child abuse or neglect to include the following actions by those responsible for a child’s welfare:

What is my legal liability?

ACCORDING TO STATE LAW, a person who, in good faith, makes a report, permits an interview under 47.17.027, or who participates in judicial proceedings related to reports submitted is immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

A person required by law to file a report of abuse or neglect who willfully or knowingly fails or refuses to do so is guilty of a class misdemeanor.

Office of Children's Services

The state has an Office of Children's Services - which is part of the Division of Family and Youth Services - that is charged with the role of ensuring that reports are handled in a timely fashion.

BSSD Reporting Procedures

In a general sense, here are some bullet points about BSSD's reporting procedures:

BSSD Reporting Form

The link below will download a Word document that can be used to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

The confidential form is sent to Office of Children's Services, and also to Rebecca Concilus' office as either a scan, a fax or an email attachment. She keeps track of the reports, and can provide follow up assistance.

What Happens After the Report?

The social worker will inform the State’s Attorney at the Judicial Department, and the report will be investigated further. A decision will be made whether to file criminal charges or a civil action to protect the child if the report of neglect or abuse is verified.

If there is a court proceeding, the teacher or administrator may or may not be called as a witness depending on the facts of the case. But if they do have to testify, the fact that they made the initial report will still be kept confidential.

The Coordinator of Special Education will refer suspected victims of abuse or neglect to the school psychologist and counseling department for special services at the request of the site administrator and/or teachers.

Personnel Training Requirements

According to AS 47.17.022, “A person employed by the state or by a school district who is required under this chapter to report abuse or neglect of children shall receive training on the recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

District Training Plan

The Coordinator of Special Education explains the reporting requirements to the site administrators at orientation meetings.

By October of each school year a half-day training in the prevention of child abuse will be provided for all district teachers and educational program aides by site administrators with technical assistance from the Coordinator of Special Education as requested.

Interagency Coordination

The Bering Strait School District is involved in on-going communication with the Department of Health and Social Services, Norton Sound Mental Health, Norton Sound Health Corporation, Bering Sea Women's Group, and local police officers. All referrals are handled in a confidential manner. We make every reasonable effort to insure this protection.




Other School Staff

If you suspect the maltreatment of any child please inform your building principal of your suspisions.

Community Members

We are all responsible for the welfare of the children in our communities. You are encouraged to report instances of known and suspected child abuse and neglect.

Indicators of Child Abuse or Neglect

The following are excerpts from a more detailed list of indicators compiled by the government of British Columbia, the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology. Although not an official list of symptoms, these may good to keep in mind with other factors relevant to village and community norms when considering potential signs of abuse and neglect:

There are some additional indicators that have often been identified with child sexual abuse. Those include:

Alaska/Regional Statistics

Alaska has one of the highest child abuse rates in the NATION.

Every 33 minutes, one child in Alaska is reported a victim of child abuse/neglect.

Approximately 80% of all child abuse is perpetrated by parents.

During 2010 there was a total of 4,655 substantiated allegations of child abuse/neglect involving 2,871 children.

Of the 4,655 allegations statewide, 661 were from our region, involving 390 children from our region.

In Alaska during the month of June 2011 there were 2,819 allegations of child abuse/neglect involving 1,644 children and 1,353 perpetrators.

From those allegations there were 1,177 reports filed for protective services.

As of June 1, 2011 there were 1,872 children placed outside of their home; 312 of which are from our region.

Regional Services/Statewide and National Resources

Nome Services

Office of Children's Services
P.O. Box 910
Nome, AK 99762
(907) 443-5247

Alaska State Troopers...................... 443-2441


Bering Sea Women's Group (Nome)..................443-5491; Fax: 443-3748
Provides shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence; crisis telephone; community education about domestic violence and sexual assault; village outreach and education; supervision of safe homes in villages.
Director Samaria Ross
P.O. Box 1596

SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) ......... 907-443-3311 at Norton Sound Regional Hospital.
The team attempts to be the assessment team for any victim regionally of sexual abuse/assault.

Kawerak Children & Family Services.............. 1-800-478-5153 Fax: 443-4457
Vice President- Joel Craft Jr.
Local ICWA Tribal Family Coordinator in Brevig Mission, Golovin, Mary's Igloo & Teller, Shishmaref, Wales, King Island, White Mountain, Elim, Koyuk, Shaktoolik, Stebbins, St. Michael, Unalakleet. email:

Nome Community Center ..................443-5259
Executive Director: David G. Elmore
P. O. Box 98

Kawerak Child Advocacy Center................................443 4376, Fax -443 4474
Program Director - Michelle Krier
Outreach Educator - Phyllis Walluk
Front St. Old Federal Bldg.
P.O. Box 948
Nome, AK 99762
Norton Sound Behavioral Health ..................................443-3344
P.O. Box 966

Regional Health Corporation - Norton Sound Health Corp........ 907-443-3311 , Fax 907-443-3139
P.O. Box 966, Nome, AK 99762

Nome Youth Court.......................... 443-5888
Fawn White, Coordinator
P.O. Box 98
Provides court ordered services for youth, programs to promote healthy life styles, administers the Nome Youth Court.

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