Professional Learning Series

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Ontario College of Teachers - Duty to Report

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Professional Advisory Duty to Report

Professional advisories inform professional judgement and practice. The Council of the Ontario College of Teachers approved this advisory on June 4, 2015 to remind members that they have a duty to report abuse and /or neglect of children.


Children's Aid Society

Recognize the Signs

Safe Horizon


Possible Signs of Physical or Sexual Child Abuse

  • Behavior changes such as fear, anxiety, depression, aggression or withdrawal, not wanting to go home, or appearing afraid of certain individuals
  • Overly sexualized behavior or use of explicit sexual language that's inappropriate for the child's age
  • Changes in sleeping patterns including frequent nightmares, difficulty falling asleep. Both may result in the child appearing tired or fatigued
  • Changes in school performance and attendance, such as being unable to concentrate in class or frequent absences
  • Eating habits that lead to extreme weight gain or loss
  • Visible unexplained injuries such as burns, bruises, or broken bones
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Trouble walking or sitting

Tip Sheet: Warning Signs of Possible Sexual Abuse in a Child's Bahaviour

Mayo Clinic: Child Abuse

"A child who's being abused may feel guilty, ashamed or confused. He or she may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a parent, other relative or family friend. In fact, the child may have an apparent fear of parents, adult caregivers or family friends. That's why it's vital to watch for red flags."

Please click on this link for warning signs:


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