06.09.2015
Gearing up for Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training under AB 1432

As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close, many school districts are planning their training and professional development calendars for 2015-2016. One new requirement is mandatory Child Abuse Reporting and Detection training. Assembly Bill 1432 became law on January 1, 2015 and requires all local educational agencies — school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools (LEAs) — to provide annual training to their employees who are mandated reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Penal Code § 11166 et seq.).

The California Department of Education interprets “annual” to mean every school year. LEAs must also develop a process for mandated reporters to “provide proof of completing the training within the first six weeks of the school year or within the first six weeks of that person’s employment.” (Educ. Code § 44691.) Thus, all existing employees must be trained and provide proof of that training prior to or within the first six weeks of the start of school. Any employees hired after the school year begins must complete the training and provide proof of completion prior to or within the first six weeks of their employment.

LEAs have three options for satisfying this annual training requirement: (1) Use the Department of Social Services (DSS) online training module; (2) Use an alternative, private online training; or (3) Conduct an in-person group training. The DSS online module was released in March 2015, and can be found at http://www.mandatedreporterca.com. If an alternative training is used, the LEA fills out a report form identifying the training and sends it to the Department of Education each year. The reporting form can be found at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/ap/.

The DSS online training module is “free” for anyone to use, and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere with an Internet connection. Collective bargaining agreements may not allow LEAs to require employees to complete mandated training at home without getting paid for their time. Therefore, LEAs that use the DSS online training will likely have to compensate the employees for the time they spend on the training at home, or hire substitutes to cover their duties while they complete the training at work.

Problematically, the time each employee takes to complete online training can vary. The Chadwick Center for Children and Families, which developed the training, estimates it takes up to four hours to complete. Our own assessment indicates completion times can vary from one to four hours. Tracking individual employees’ training time for payroll purposes could be logistically challenging and pose its own bargaining implications. LEAs must also collect individual certification of completion from each employee who completes the training — a daunting task when hundreds or thousands of mandated reporters are trained.

Insurance carriers and other private companies have begun rolling out their own AB 1432-compliant online trainings. Most of the same concerns noted for the DSS training apply equally to these private online trainings. Additionally, online training modules may not offer the best method for conveying this important information to mandated reporters. Online trainings do not allow for interactive dialogue or clarifying questions from the trainees. And the nature of online trainings allows trainees to largely ignore the content of the training. During an online activity, trainees may be tempted to simply “click next” on each screen while they are distracted by or engaged in other pursuits (think of online traffic school).

For all these reasons, many districts will determine the best method for training employees is an in-person, large group training. The AB 1432 training can be incorporated into already bargained for in-service or professional development days before or immediately after the start of the school year. Additionally, as these in-service days are mandatory, LEAs can capture the majority of mandated reporters in a single training. A live training will better engage the attendees and allow for questions and interaction with the trainer to ensure understanding.

AALRR has developed a Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting and Detection training that is fully compliant with the new law. We can directly train all of your mandated reporters in a large group or we can do a “Train the Trainers” session in which we give administrators the knowledge and tools to go back to their sites and train their employees. If you are interested in having AALRR conduct this training in your District, please contact Gil Castro at gcastro@aalrr.com or the local AALRR attorney with whom you regularly work.

Other AALRR Blogs

Recent Posts

Popular Categories

Contributors

Archives

Back to Page