The Board of Education approved changes to Policy JHC, Child Abuse and Neglect on June 29 which guides Montgomery County Public Schools procedures related to recognizing, reporting, and preventing suspected child abuse and neglect of students. The revised policy outlined strategies for ensuring that:
- All employees understand and are held accountable for the highest ethical standards in their conduct, as well as adhering to legal mandates and the moral imperative to recognize report, and prevent suspected child abuse and neglect;
- Children and vulnerable adults who are alleged victims of abuse and/or neglect are supported;
- Human resource management systems and processes for screening new and existing employees are developed;
- Professional learning for MCPS employees is developed and implemented; and
- Opportunities are provided for parents, outside contractors, volunteers, and the broader community to develop awareness on recognizing, reporting, and preventing abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults.
The revised policy was developed in collaboration with partner agencies, including the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Child Welfare Services in the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. An outside consultant with expertise in these areas was hired to assist district staff in developing the policy.