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| 1 minute read

Volunteers Need Mandated Reporter Training, Too

Many youth-serving organizations tend to forget that, in most states, volunteers are mandated reporters of child abuse along with paid employees. That requirement sets up both statutory duties and a risk of lawsuits if your volunteers miss red flags for abuse or neglect. Your organization needs to be sure that it volunteers are trained in how to recognize abuse or neglect and how to respond to concerns.

Of course, you can't force volunteers to sit through the same lengthy training that employees get. Fortunately, there are several sources for online training. Look for training that generates a certificate or some other proof of completion that you can keep in the volunteer's file. Also be sure that the source of the training is reputable in your state or community.

In Georgia, the Office of the Child Advocate and the Division of Family and Children's Services both offer free training. In other states, a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America likely will offer either online or in-person training.  he federal Child Welfare Information Gateway also maintains a list of various state training programs. Any of these is a good resource for making sure that your volunteers have all of the information that they need.

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youth services law, mandated reporter, insights, ausburn_deborah