Gathering Information to Make the Report:
Before you make the report, it is important to be prepared with all of the information you will need. In Air Force programs, this means:
- All Child and Youth Program (CYP) personnel are mandated to report suspected child/youth maltreatment. CYP personnel include CYP staff and managers, Family Child Care (FCC) providers and coordinators, contract workers, and specified volunteers.
- All suspicions of child/youth maltreatment are to be reported to the installation Family Advocacy Officer (FAO).
- CYP personnel must gather basic info (e.g. observations and/or what the child/youth said) to file a Family Advocacy Program (FAP) report. CYP personnel are not to make any inquiry from the child/youth or family.
Making the Report:
- CYP personnel will immediately report to the program manager or supervisor on duty any practice or incident that endangers the health, safety or well-being of children/youth.
- CYP program managers will contact the Airman and Family Services (AFS) Flight Chief and the FAO if they suspect child maltreatment.
- The Family Advocacy Officer (or other designated clinical provider in FAP) is the Point of Contact for all allegations of child maltreatment.
- FAO determines whether the allegation meets the “reasonable suspicion of maltreatment” threshold. Reasonable suspicion is defined as: Available information is sufficient to cause an objective individual to believe that maltreatment may have occurred by acts of commission or omission.
- If the allegation meets the “reasonable suspicion of maltreatment” threshold, the FAO will notify additional agencies (State Child Protective Services in CONUS and where available OCONUS, Office of Special Investigation (OSI), and Security Forces (SFS). When child maltreatment allegedly occurs in the home of an active component service member, the FAO also notifies the member’s CC/CCF.
- If the allegation involves maltreatment to a child/youth from a parent or caregiver in the home of an active component service member:
- FAP will assess the allegation in collaboration with CPS and the incident will be presented at the Central Registry Board. FAP will provide safety planning and treatment services to the military medical beneficiaries in the family for incidents that meet criteria for child maltreatment. If the incident does not meet criteria for child maltreatment at the CRB, FAP may offer the family prevention counseling for any concerns identified in the assessment.
- If the allegation involves maltreatment to a child/youth from a parent or caregiver in the home of non-military (GS, NAF or contractor) family:
- In CONUS, FAO will notify CPS and CPS will manage the investigation and any subsequent intervention. In OCONUS, where no CPS exists, FAP will consult the base legal office to determine the level of intervention FAP can provide, based on the parents willingness to cooperate and the safety concerns for the victim.
- If the allegation involves maltreatment to a child/youth from a DoD-sanctioned caregiver:
- The FAO will tell CYP program manager if the referral meets reasonable suspicion and who will be notified. The FAO will advise the CYP program manager if any of the investigative agencies notified intend to investigate the allegation. If CPS, SFS and OSI decline to investigate (normally due to the allegation not being severe enough to warrant an investigation) the CYP program manager will handle the incident administratively as a breach of CYP positive child guidance or supervision policies.
- When CPS, OSI and/or SFS do investigate, the FAO will serve as liaison between the CYP program manager and the investigative agency in an effort to provide timely investigative findings to the CYP Director.
- The FAO will contact the victim’s parents; advise them of the allegation, the notifications made by FAP, and offer FAP supportive services to the family.
- If the allegation involves maltreatment from a DoD-sanctioned caregiver to child/youth who lives in the caregiver’s home:
- If the provider is the spouse or unmarried intimate partner of an active component service member, the FAO will notify CPS, OSI and SFS as well the service member’s unit CC/CCF. The FAO will also notify the CYP program manager who supervises the alleged offender to advise him/her of the allegation. FAP will assess the family in collaboration with CPS. When the CRB makes a determination, the FAO will again notify the CYP program manager of the CRB determination.
- If the provider is not the spouse or unmarried intimate partner of an active component service member, the FAO will notify CPS and CPS will manage the investigation and any subsequent intervention. In OCONUS, where no CPS exists, FAP will consult the base legal office to determine the level of intervention FAP can provide, based on the parents’ willingness to cooperate and the safety concerns for the victim. The FAO will also notify the CYP program manager who supervises the alleged offender to advise him/her of the allegation. IAW the CONUS FAP MOUs with CPS, FAP would not have access to the results of the CPS investigation. Therefore, the CYP program manager would have to get the CPS investigative findings from the alleged offender, normally from a letter the alleged offender receives from CPS.
- An AF CYP Reportable Incident report is completed and forward to the Air Force Personnel Center Directorate of Services Installation Support Division Child and Youth Specialists or MAJCOM Specialist, Squadron Commander/Director, Air Force Personnel Center Directorate of Services Installation Support Division Child and Youth Specialists or MAJCOM Specialist, Air Force Personnel Center Directorate of Services Child and Youth Programs (AFPC/SVPY), and Headquarters Child and Youth Programs (HQ AF/A1SOC) within 24 hours.
After the Report:
- CYP personnel are not to discuss the incident and must keep the information confidential.
- The FAO or CPS may contact the CYP staff member who identified the maltreatment for more information.
- When CYP personnel are under investigation for suspected child maltreatment, he/she is placed on administrative leave or assigned to a position that does not involve contact with children/youth until the investigation is complete. If the incident involves a Family Child Care Provider and/or household member, the license/affiliation is suspended and the home is closed until a determination is made.
- When the alleged offender is a DoD-sanctioned caregiver who maltreats a child in his/her care, or is a DoD-sanctioned caregiver who is a military beneficiary who maltreats a child who lives in his/her home, the FAO will serve as liaison between the investigative agency and the CYP program manager to promote timely transmission of the investigative findings so the provider can be returned to duty (or permanently removed) as quickly as possible. CYP personnel who violate the guidance policy are provided individualized re-training (specific to the incident) or they are terminated.
Anonymity of the Reporter:
- CYP personnel are mandated reporters (by state law) so they are normally not calling FAP anonymously. FAP will provide the reporter’s name and contact information to CPS and law enforcement so that if there are additional questions CPS/LE can contact the reporter directly. However, FAP will NOT provide the alleged offender (or alleged offender’s spouse) with the name of the CYP personnel who reported the allegation.
- When a caller who is not mandated by state law to report child abuse contacts FAP, they are allowed to report the allegations anonymously, even though all active duty, GS and contract personnel in the Air Force are mandated by AFI 40-301 to report child maltreatment to FAP.