Workshops offer child abuse info.

By Jodi Eisenberg

Those who report child abuse and neglect will be able to participate in a workshop to inform them of their duties and to answer their questions at the Ben Gordon Community Mental Health Center on Friday, Jan. 30.

The workshop for “mandated reporters” is being conducted by representatives from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Mandated reporters are people who report child abuse and neglect to the state central registry, and usually are professionals whose jobs bring them in contact with children—such as teachers, doctors, and policemen.

Lori Imes, a DCFS investigative supervisor in Rock Falls, Ill., said the workshops are given regularly. “Agencies have a high turnover of employees and there needs to be clarification of how to access the system,” Imes said.

The workshop also will explain the definitions of neglect and abuse and what makes up a mandated report. The role of police and founded and unfounded reports also will be included in the workshop.

Joel Lamz, supervisor of the DeKalb DCFS office, 1406-D Sycamore Road, said he deals with treatment and rehabilitation of abused children. Lamz said he uses and believes in the wholistic approach which looks at the whole family.

“To treat abuse and neglect you must treat the entire family, not just a portion,” Lamz said.

Both Lamz and Imes will speak at the workshop, which is open to the public.

DeKalb County Coordinated Child Care, 145 Fisk Ave., is a clearing house for licensed day care centers and may act as a mandated reporter. Executive Director Micki Chulick said the center reported 12 cases of abuse or possible abuse last year. If the center thinks a child has been physically abused, its nurse will examine the child, and if it appears the child has been abused, the parents are given the option of reporting it themselves. If the parents choose not to report it, then the center will report the possible abuse.

The workshop is at 9 a.m. and is free. To register for the workshop, call the Gordon Center at 756-4875.