TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The self-regulatory body for Ontario's teaching profession has issued a professional advisory to support teachers' professional judgment to report to a children's aid society when they suspect a child is a victim of abuse or neglect.
Abuse and neglect are realities for some Ontario children. Each year, about 171,000 Ontarians report their concerns about the safety and well-being of a child, according to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS). The majority of people who report are working in schools and for police and court services.
The College will host events in six Ontario communities starting on September 21 in Toronto to release our advice to teachers and encourage dialogue on breaking down barriers to reporting child abuse and neglect.
The events will include panel discussions with representatives from local children's aid societies and police services. Education stakeholders and child protection organizations including First Nations agencies are also invited.
The Professional Advisory - Duty to Report provides information for Ontario Certified Teachers to help them recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, report suspicions immediately, and reflect to ensure that they have done all they can to protect children," explained College CEO and Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT.
The jury in a provincial coroner's inquest into the death of Jeffrey Baldwin – a five-year old Toronto boy who suffered years of mistreatment by his grandparents – recommended that regulatory bodies like the College promote the duty to report to its membership.
"Our advice provides consistent information to teachers across the province about their legal, professional and ethical duty to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect," says College Deputy Registrar Joe Jamieson, OCT, who led the development of the advisory following an extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders. "The College wants to help ensure that what happened to Jeffrey and other child victims never happens again."
"We recommend that our members familiarize themselves with different signs of child abuse and neglect. We also advise them to call the local children's aid society if they suspect a child is or may be in need of protection," says College Council Chair Angela De Palma, OCT.
The advisory and backgrounder are available on the College's website at www.oct.ca.
Members of the media are welcome to attend the symposiums.
September 21, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Ontario College of Teachers
101 Bloor Street West – 14th floor – Toronto
All events will occur between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. in the following locations:
Ottawa – September 22
Ottawa Conference and Event Centre / 200 Conventry Road, Ottawa
Sudbury – September 29
Radisson Hotel Sudbury / 85 Ste. Anne Road, Sudbury
Thunder Bay – October 1
Towne Place Suites Thunder Bay / 550 Harbour Expressway, Thunder Bay
Windsor – October 5
Holiday Inn and Suites Ambassador Bridge / 1855 Huron Church Road, Windsor
Niagara – October 7
Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre / 327 Ontario Street, St. Catharines
The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting its more than 239,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest self-regulatory body for the teaching profession in Canada.
SOURCE Ontario College of Teachers
For further information: Brian Jamieson, 416-961-8800, ext. 655, Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gabrielle Barkany, OCT (Bilingual), 416-961-8800, ext. 621, Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 621, email@example.com