Volunteer Training on Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
MCPS values the volunteers who work in our schools to enrich our students’ experiences. As a community, we all are mindful of our shared responsibility to create safe, nurturing environments for our students. The Montgomery County Board of Education has revised its child abuse policy, and MCPS has engaged in a comprehensive effort to implement practices and protocols to ensure all of our students have a safe learning environment. As part of this ongoing effort for the 2016–2017 school year, MCPS has developed training for all volunteers in the district to learn about recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. This online training takes about 30 minutes to complete and can be accessed through the MCPS website at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/childabuseandneglect/.
The online training provides information about:
- Types of abuse;
- Grooming behaviors that may make our children vulnerable; and
- The MCPS procedures and state law requirements for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.
While we encourage all community members to engage in this important, informative training, currently we only require individuals who regularly support schools to complete the Child Abuse and Neglect training. Infrequent or occasional volunteers who support large events or assist at one-time events under the supervision of school staff members are not required to complete the training at this time. Below are examples of the types of activities that do not require completion of the volunteer training:
- Guest readers and speakers in classrooms where they will be supervised by a MCPS employee;
- High school/college recruiters and volunteers at job and college fairs;
- Parents/guardians or other relatives who are observing or supporting a celebration (e.g., a parade) or helping with a class party; and
- Parents/guardians staffing concession and ticket booths at large events.
The online training will be available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese, by the end of September 2016. Parents/guardians will not be barred from participation in their schools due to the need for accommodations.
Answers to frequently asked questions are posted on the MCPS Child Abuse and Neglect webpage. MCPS is grateful for your commitment and partnership to ensure the safety of students.