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Beavah

Abuse Reporting Policies

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Although I agree with a lot of what you say, I'm not so sure I agree with what's stated above. I think I do want some people--people with training--to know that they have a legal responsibility to report.

 

Why is that, Hunt?

 

I think yeh could get by with keepin' the statutory immunity provisions in place, but not making the report optional. That eliminates the fear they will be sued for a false report.

 

What do you think the benefits vs. cost are for professionals being required to report?

 

B

 

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I guess I'm just more cynical about human nature. I think a lot of people, even professionals, will choose not to "get involved" unless they have a legal duty to report (and probably immunity from liability for reporting).

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Many of us are nosy enough to want to know a little more. We would ask the kid, "Hey that's a nasty bruise you got there John, how did you get it?"

 

And yet trainin' is pretty specific, eh? It's not our job to investigate, and we should not be playin' investigator. Just report. Someone just followin' the trainin' is going to report on the nasty bruise.

 

There's the big problem. Johnny shows up with a BIG visible bruise. Call the authorities? Asking how it happened would be "investigating."

 

Okay, let's go one step further. "Hey, Johnny! What happened to you?" "Oh, nothing much. I fell down." Fell down? "Well, my dad knocked me down." Knocked you down. "Actually, we were fighting and he threw me and then punched me a few times."

 

CALL THE AUTHORITIES!!!

 

The authorities investigate and discover that both Johnny and his dad are black belts in Brazillian JuJitsu and pound the snot out of each other on a regular basis. However, privacy regulations prevent them from telling you anything. So you're baffled when the father isn't arrested.

 

A month later, Johnny shows up again with a bruise and you ask, "Your father do that?" Johnny says yep so another call is placed.

 

Now Johnny's father has a "file" and they start tracking these "incidents" and some civil servant loon who couldn't find a real job decides that something has to be done. So Johnny's father gets hauled off in handcuffs, has to spend Johnny's college fund for a lawyer and even though acquitted winds up losing his job.

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Asking a child how they got a bruise is not investigating. It is really inportant to not only attend training but to be attentive at training.

 

The video talks about this very thing, and one thing you will learn if you pay attention to kids is that they treat most injuries as badges of honor and are usually mor than willing to discuss where they came from. When a child has a noticable injury and says he doesn't know how he got it or gives an implausable answer that is a time for an adult to see a red flag.

 

Now I am not suggesting that the authorities be contacted over one bruise, but certainly repeated situations with the same child is cause for concern.

 

Be aware however that people who would hurt a child are often carefull not to inflict injuries in easily noticable locations on the body so a child with no visible injuries could still show other signs of abuse that you need to be aware of.

 

Remember also that it is not unusual for kids or adults to develop injuries along the extremities. Hands, shins, knees, nose, are areas where people get most cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

 

Cuts and bruises of the torso (front and back), back of legs, and neck, and localized burns (especially if not on the hands) are far less common, and could me reasons for concern.

 

This is a situation where knowledge is better than a "well what if" skepticism.

 

As far as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu example. Dad should be able to find a sparring partner in another adult, and Johnny with another youth of his age and stage of development. I would be very concerned of a ANY adult taking part in a full contact sport with a child likely 20 years or more his junior.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob, you really don't pay attention, do you?

 

" if you pay attention to kids is that they treat most injuries as badges of honor"

 

Not really. I work with a young fellow who showed up with his arm in a cast. I asked what happened and he tried to convince me that it happened in a bar fight. He's 17 so that isn't likely. Mostly to irritate him, I kept pressing and it turned out that he tripped at a track meet and broke his wrist. No a badge of honor.

 

When I was 16, I slipped at school and split my chin open requiring about 20 stitches. Not a badge of honor.

 

 

 

The same would be true of young, proud black belt whose old man managed to inflict damage. Not a badge of honor.

 

BTW, asking questions is the very definition of investigating.

 

(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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If ya don't ask you won't know & you will be making a judgment based on minimal knowledge. If more is known, a better judgment can be made. And to learn more, questions will probably need to be asked. Hence, investigating.

 

How a boy deals with an injury will depend a lot on how it occurred. If he fell down the steps & broke his arm, it is doubtful he will tell his mate exactly what happened. He might make something up to make it sound cooler to his buds so he doesn't look like a dolt in his friends eyes. That could be worse than the injury itself!

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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You will need to debate your specific example of your cut chin wih the child behavior specialist in the YP training. Your personal example is inconsistent with normal adolescent behavior. I have worked with a lot of kids and normally if you ask them how they got the bruise or how they broke their arm they go into great detail to explain the ride don dead man's hill in their wagon, or the stunt on the skate board that went wrong.

 

And when it is the dad who hit them they usually "do not remember" or they "walked into a door".

 

What you suggested in your posts has no relationship to the BSA Youth Protection training or to the responsibility we as volunteers have in the BSA to be aware of the welfare of the youth we serve.

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There is a child behavior specialist present at all YPT sessions? That's news to me. And in the real world, when kids does walk into a door, he probably won't tell ya he walked into a door! I know when I was a kids I would make up a cool story to tell my buds!

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And when it is the dad who hit them they usually "do not remember" or they "walked into a door".

 

Yah, at least that's the way it works on TV shows, eh? ;)

 

This is again why I think mandatory reporting by non-professionals is not particularly helpful. A physician who sees lots and lots of injuries is qualified to recognize bruising that's unusual, and evaluate whether the injury could actually result from da mechanism that the "story" provides.

 

An amateur can't.

 

Same with a professional educator or social worker, whose trainin' and experience in kid behaviors far outstrips our typical volunteer. Is unusual aggressiveness a sign of abuse, or is it within da normal behavior range of a boy with autism spectrum disorder? Or both? A professional might be able to make a decent call as to reasonable suspicion, but I'm not at all convinced an amateur could. Even if they're provided with one or two "examples" by an expert, that ain't enough to develop expertise.

 

These things rarely present in a clear-cut way, eh? At least not in families who are likely to be in scouts.

 

B

 

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" if you ask them how they got the bruise or how they broke their arm they go into great detail to explain the ride don dead man's hill in their wagon, or the stunt on the skate board that went wrong."

 

You've probably been buying a load of horse manure for years, thinking that it was rose petals.

 

Kids and many men will readily tell the story of an injury if there is some glory to be had. Breaking an arm doing a stunt involves glory. Breaking an arm because you stepped on your skateboard in the dark doesn't. If you step on the skateboard in the dark and break your arm, embellish the story.

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