Be the Reason: 
The Educator's Role in Combating Child Maltreatment

Laws have evolved along with awareness of human rights, including the rights of minors, with increased protections for children and youth from harmful situations. Often children may not be able to put their experiences into words, or may not know they deserve safety and the fulfillment of basic human needs. Children may rely on adults outside the family to stand up for them. This is where educators and school personnel serve a vital role in our society: to watch over and shield our children and youth.

In this course, Sherry Williamson, Child Abuse Project Coordinator at the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence, shares personal stories and professional insights that compel Arkansas educators and school staff to move beyond the discomfort that comes with facing hard realities. This fully narrated and interactive training features scenarios drawn from real-life experiences. We glean first-hand insights from Arkansas leaders who work to combat crimes against children. Armed with awareness, knowledge, and a sense of higher purpose, Arkansas educators and school personnel can be resolved in their convictions to “be the reason” children, youth, and families survive and thrive.

This course meets the requirements of Act 1236 of 2011 for the 2021-22 school year.

Notice: Viewing of this version of the videos does not provide Professional Development credit. PD is only provided for Educators if the course is viewed through the ArkansasIDEAS LMS. Educators may click here to log in to ArkansasIDEAS or to check eligibility for an account.

Lesson One

Welcome, Mandated Reporters
(Segment 1 of 14)

Sherry Williamson shares a real-life story from her experience that helps us consider the importance of the mandated reporter role in a larger context.

A Few Statistics and Law References
(Segment 2 of 14)

Mischa Martin, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services, outlines how Arkansas state agencies respond to child maltreatment hotline calls.

More to Think About: ACEs
(Segment 3 of 14)

Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs), many of which are related to child abuse and neglect, may carry lifelong consequences, including chronic medical conditions.

Lesson Two

Myths and Misunderstandings
(Segment 4 of 14)

Sherry Williamson debunks some common myths and clarifies misunderstandings associated with child maltreatment.

Risk Factors and Opportunities for Support
(Segment 5 of 14)

Sherry Williamson highlights some of the factors that may increase caregivers' risk of causing harm to their children.

About Neglect
(Segment 6 of 14)

Our host and family welfare expert share some of the physical and behavioral indicators that may prompt us to suspect neglect.

About Physical Abuse  
(Segment 7 of 14)

The physical and behavioral indicators of physical abuse are shared. When a child's behavior changes, adults need to investigate the potential cause.

About Sexual Abuse
(Segment 8 of 14)

Sherry Williamson points out that detection of sexual abuse in school-aged children through physical and behavioral indicators is rare.

Lesson Three

A Few Extra Minutes
(Segment 9 of 14)

Sherry Williamson comments on a model teacher response to a child refusing to engage in free play.

When They Disclose
(Segment 10 of 14)

Sherry Willliamson clarifies how to respond when a child discloses neglect or abuse.

Be There
(Segment 11 of 14)

Sherry Williamson debriefs key points from the scenario shown in "Be There."

Lesson Four

Reporting Basics
(Segment 12 of 14)

Arkansas child protection agencies discuss hotline reporting requirements and consequences for failure to follow the mandated reporter laws.

Make the Call
(Segment 13 of 14)

Sherry Williamson underscores the need for discreet conversations when school personnel discuss students, in order to protect privacy and confidentiality.

One Family's Story
(Segment 14 of 14)

Sherry Williamson concludes with her story of one family's road to adoption through the foster care system, as shown in an animation.

AR PBS Ideas Arkansas Department of Education