Reporting Youth Abuse Procedures
The Youth Advisor, or any AIS member who has knowledge of known or suspected abuse, is responsible for reporting the matter to child protective services or other cognizant law enforcement agency. The report must be made by telephone immediately and in writing within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident.
The report must contain as a minimum the following information, as well as any additional information requested by the child protective services:
- Name of person making report
- Name of the youth
- Current address or location of the youth
- Specific facts that have been observed or alleged
If it is known or reasonably suspected that such abuse was committed by an officer or director of the AIS or of an AIS region, AIS affiliate, or an AIS member at large, the National Youth Chair and RVP shall be notified. However, no AIS official may impede or inhibit an individual's primary reporting duties directly to the appropriate governmental agency.
Care should be exercised in how the report is made. Only the specific facts that have been observed should be reported. No conclusions as to whether or not "verbal abuse" or "sexual abuse" has occurred should be reported. Additionally, AIS personnel shall not personally investigate allegations of abuse; instead, allegations shall be reported directly to the appropriate governmental agency.
Reports of abuse are confidential. If a concerned party requests information, other than the child protective services or police, the following statement shall suffice:
"I cannot discuss any of the information on a suspected child abuse report, including who made the report. If I discuss any information on a report with you, it may be a crime."
If a suspected child abuse report is supected to have been made in error, AIS personnel should contact the agency that is investigating the report. All questions should be directed to them.
Any person reporting a known or suspected instance of abuse will not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized herein, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report.
Training and Awareness of Youth Abuse Reporting Procedures
Training in the duties imposed by these guidelines shall be included by Regional Youth Chairs in training of Youth Advisors and adult members volunteering to participate in the Youth Program.
As a part of this training, the AIS National Youth Chair shall provide to the Regional Youth Chairs a written copy of the guidelines and the form to be used by all participating in the Youth Program acknowledging a commitment to abide by the guidelines.
Any Youth Advisor who has responsibility for an AIS Youth Program shall be provided with copies of this policy and as a condition of participating sign a statement on a Youth Advisor Acknowledgement Form that s/he had knowledge of, understand, and will abide by the provisions as set out in the policy. The Regional Youth Chair shall include the Youth Advisor Acknowledgement Form in the Youth Advisor packet, ensure that Youth Advisors sign the form, and retain the signed form in the youth program files.