The term "abuse" can refer to all types of abuse, including: verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Reporting suspicion of abuse is an important part of a school counselor's job.


The term “abuse” can refer to all types of abuse, including: verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Reporting suspicion of abuse is an important part of a school counselor’s job.

Indiana and sexual abuse: Senate Enrolled Act 295, which updated existing law (IC 20-30-5-5.7), requires public schools, charter schools, and accredited nonpublic schools to use research or evidence-based instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse for students in grades K–12. Instruction must be completed by December 15 of each school year.  See the following Guidance memo from IDOE for additional information.


  • Whenever we have a suspicion of abuse, it is our job to report. It is not our job to investigate or determine the legitimacy of the report.
  • When speaking to a child about abuse allegations, it is important to keep all questions general and open-ended. Leading questions can influence the child’s testimony and may hinder future court proceedings.



  • Q: Does anyone have a DCS form they use when placing a call to DCS? (December 2022)
  • Q: I was wondering about your internal documentation system for reporting suspected abuse or neglect.
    • A: We have CPS folders for every staff member on campus. In that folder is information on how to report, signs of abuse, as well as a log to document reports. On the log there is a place to document student name, date of report, intake persons name/ID, as well as the report number and a place for notes. The report number is the most important part. It is the part that proves a report was made in case anyone ever came back and tried to claim we did not do our due diligence, which has happened here on my campus in the past. Each staff member is supposed to document in their own folder and keep the folder in a private location meant only for them. We also document report numbers made by other reporters if they were made aware of the situation so that they have verification it was reported since they become mandatory reporters as soon as they become knowledgeable of the incident.
  • The Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) have been collaborating to better provide support to educators on educational neglect due to an abundance of calls to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. This resource is meant to provide additional insight.
  • Q: Has anyone put together something for high school students [for SEA 295]? Perhaps something that can be viewed virtually?
    • A: We haven’t created lessons yet, but found these videos and plan to use them in some way. Working on the “research/evidence-based” part, but felt that these will hold students’ attention, and are the best we’ve seen in quite a while. There are several, that can be divided by grade level, probably useful at the middle and high school level.
    • A: We are switching to the Ripple Effects program. I know that it goes to 8th grade, but I am not positive past that. We are using it through a grant with a local mental health agency. I’ve enjoyed using it with our SEL expectations, especially with the virtual students. It is all online and the teacher can work through it with the kids or it can be assigned. Here’s a link to their informational website https://rippleeffects.com/ it looks like they do have a teen component.
    • A: We use Safer, Smarter Teens by Lauren’s Kids.  It is for grades 6-8.
  • Q: Has anyone found any resources that are free?
    • A: Please check out Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.  http://www.pcain.org  They have local chapters throughout Indiana.
    • A: We used resources and videos from https://fightchildabuse.org/ for K-6th in our building. It was great. There are evidence based lessons for K-12 on the site for FREE
  • I know we are always looking for current, evidenced based curriculum to teach child abuse. I have been looking for new curriculum for years. One of my peers found some this year:  playitsafe.org
  • Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 295 – Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse Curricula – May 15, 2020


If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email counselor1stop@inspiresuccess.org and let us know.