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Emergency Services, Hotlines, Aid Offices and Duty to Report

Duty to Report

Knowing when a child is at risk and in need of protection is important for all adults in Bermuda, but particularly for early year professionals, who share a level of responsibility for safeguarding or promoting a child's welfare.

We all share a responsibility to protect children from harm. This includes situations where children are abused or neglected in their own homes.
Bermuda's Child and Family Services provides protection for these children. The public, including professionals who work with children, should promptly report suspicions that a child is or may be in need of protection to a children’s aid society, like Child & Family Services. The phrase “child in need of protection” often refers to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and risk of harm. These are such occurrences, to be reported. For more information, refer to the Abuse domain in this guide.


Who is responsible for reporting a child in need of protection?
Anyone who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection should promptly report the suspicion and the information upon which it is based to a children’s aid society. 


What are “reasonable grounds” to suspect child abuse or neglect?
It is not necessary for you to be certain a child is or may be in need of protection to make a report to a children’s aid society. “Reasonable grounds” refers to the information that an average person, using normal and honest judgment, would need in order to decide to report.


What is a child?

For legal purposes, a child is usually regarded as a person under seventeen years of age.

How and when to report
Abuse or neglect should be reported as soon as you suspect it — 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. A phone call to a children’s aid society could bring immediate help to a child at risk. It is not your responsibility to determine whether abuse or neglect has occurred. The Police and Child & Family Services is responsible for the investigation and the assessment of abuse and neglect of children and also the ultimate management of a case when a child is taken into care. Contact a children’s aid society immediately if you have concerns about a child!

Some more key facts about child protection and how to report a concern about the welfare of a child can be found at 

www.police.bm/content/what-child-abuse#1

 

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