Mandatory Reporting & Universal Precaution Information

Mandatory Reporting & Universal Precaution Information

Buena Vista University

Teacher Education Program

Mandatory Reporting & Universal Precaution Information

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

Section 232.69 of the Iowa Code requires that licensed school employees, certified paraeducators, or holders of coaching authorizations issued under Iowa Code section 272.31 who, in the course of employment, reasonably believes a child has suffered sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental injury, child prostitution, denial of critical care, bestiality in the presence of the child, manufactures a dangerous substance or is in possession of a dangerous substance shall immediately report the suspected abuse directly to the Department of Human Services.

Section 232.70 of the Iowa Code requires that each report made by a mandatory reporter, as defined in Section 232.69, shall be made both orally and in writing. The oral report must be made by telephone or otherwise to the Department of Human Services. If the person making the report has reason to believe that immediate protection of the child is advisable, that person shall also make an oral report to an appropriate law enforcement agency. The written report must be made to the Department of Human Services within 48 hours after the oral report.

By law, the oral and written reports shall contain the following information, or as much thereof as the person making the report is able to furnish:

a. the names and home address of the child and his parents or other persons believe to be responsible for his care;

b. the child’s present whereabouts if not the same as the parent’s or other person’s home address;

c. the child’s age;

d. the nature and extent of the child’s injuries, including any evidence of previous injuries;

e. the name, age and condition of other children in the same home;

f. any other information which the person making the report believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the injury to the child, the identity of the person or persons responsible for the injury, or in providing assistance to the child; and

g. the name and address of the person making the report.

Legal sanctions for failure to report are as follows:

1. Any mandatory reporter who knowingly and willfully fails to report a suspected case of child abuse is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

2. Any mandatory reporter who knowingly fails to report is civilly liable for damages proximately caused by such failure (Legal Reference 232.75).

Any mandatory reporter who, in good faith, makes a report of child abuse or participates in the investigation of a child abuse has immunity from any liability, civil or criminal. Records and/or information pertaining to the abuse may be released to the child abuse investigator without release required in other situation (Legal Reference 232.73).

To Report Child Abuse Anytime, Call: Your Local DHS Office or, if necessary, TOLL FREE STATEWIDE (1-800-362-2178). However you are encouraged to use your local number first. You may call collect.

What is child abuse and neglect?

  1. Physical abuse (Legal definition – Iowa Code 232.68 (21)) “any nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of it, suffered b a child as a result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child.”

Possible Indicators – frequent injuries explained as “accidents,” unusual bruises, welts, burns, fractures, or bite marks.

  1. Sexual Abuse (Legal definition – Iowa Code 232.68 (2d)) – “commission of any sexual offense with or to a child as defined by Chapter 709, Section 726.2, or section 728.12, Subsection 1, as a result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.” Abuse acts include anal, oral, or genital intercourse; fondling private parts; and indecent exposure. Also, any acts or omissions which allow, permit, or encourage the child to engage in child prostitution or pornography.

Possible Indicators – Torn, stained or bloody underclothing, Experiences pain or itching in genital area, Has venereal disease, Cluster of behaviors, including: poor relationship with other children, appears withdrawn, engages in delinquent acts, or runs away

  1. Denial of Critical Care (Legal definition – 232.68 (2c)) – “failure on the part of a person responsible for the care of a child to provide for the adequate food, shelter, clothing or other care necessary for the child’s health and welfare when financially able to do so or when offered financial or other reasonable means to do so.”

Possible Indicators – (Occurring in patterns) Child is often not clean, is tired, has no energy, Clothes are dirty or wrong for the weather, Comes to school without breakfast, no lunch money, Seems to be alone too often, Child may be demanding or unusually shy; behind developmentally for his/her age in physical, emotional or intellectual development, children left alone, and not old enough to handle this responsibility

Iowa Code 232.69 provides the guidelines for reporting child abuse and states that it is the legal responsibility of the licensed school employee to follow the reporting guidelines. Because student teachers are not licensed employees, they have no legal responsibility for reporting. However, the student teacher has a professional and ethical responsibility to discuss any suspected abuse situations with the cooperating teacher or building administrator.

Iowa Department of Human Services- Website regarding child abuse

Heartland AEA Mandatory Reporting Training- online training available. Student is responsible for training cost.


Universal precautions refer to the usual and ordinary steps staff needs to take in order to reduce their risk of infection including HIV and other blood-borne organisms.

They are universal because they refer to steps that need to be taken in all cases, not only when staff/student is known to be HIV-infected.

They are precautions because they require foresight and planning, and should be integrated into existing safety guidelines.


Under this set of precautions, all blood or body fluids are considered infectious; therefore, each employee who performs any procedure related to blood or other body fluids must adhere to all necessary precautions.

Latex rubber gloves should be used as a barrier to minimize exposure to blood and body fluids.

Soiled clothes must be bagged to be sent home.

Waste should be placed in a plastic bag for disposal.

Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.


A barrier that is durable enough to withstand environmental cleaning and disinfecting (e.g. rubber utility gloves) should be placed between the fluid and the attending person.

Use disposable paper towels or other disposable material to remove blood and other body fluids.

Disinfect affected area and cleaning tools with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution (approximately one-fourth cup household bleach per gallon tap water). Surface should remain wet for several minutes.

Secure all waste in a plastic bag for disposal.


With right hand, pinch palm of glove on left hand and pull left glove down and off fingers. Form left glove into a ball and hold in fist of right hand.

Insert 2 fingers of left ungloved hand under inside rim of right glove on palm side; push glove inside out and down onto fingers and over balled left glove.

Grasp gloves, which are now together and inside out, with left hand and remove from right hand.

Discard gloves in plastic bag with any used first aid materials and seal bag.

Wash hands.


Wet hands with warm running water.

Apply liquid soap and water.

Wash hands, using a circular motion.

Pay particular attention to fingertips, nails and jewelry.

Rinse hands with fingers pointing downward.

Dry hands well and use paper towel to turn off water.

Because BVU students are in a support role in the classroom or building, there needs to be a supervisor available who is properly trained in universal precautions and able to handle situations involving potentially infectious materials. When students are assigned in a school setting, they are expected to check and confirm their responsibilities. The employer or supervising district should provide training for the student in specific responsibilities of the school program and protocol. If possible, the student should avoid responsibilities involving potential contaminates but be aware of the full-time school employees’ duties and responsibilities.

Heartland AEA Blood Borne Pathogens Training- online training is available. Student is responsible for training cost.