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Do Ask, Do Tell

Awareness Campaign

Fade up to CU image of a child. WS reveals the child is witnessing domestic abuse in the home.

Brief shots from other scenarios: A parent drops off a child with significant bruising to child care; An obviously drunk parent puts a toddler into a car seat, gets into the car and drives away.

Graphics reinforce the statistics. Music up then under:

                            Every child deserves to be cared for and to live without fear from harm.

                            But 1.5 million children in the US were confirmed victims of abuse and

                            neglect in 2009. Closer to home, Children’s Services in Hamilton County

                            that year confirmed twenty four hundred cases of child abuse or neglect.

                            The numbers are shocking, but the actual problem may be much worse than

                            statistics suggest. Recent studies indicate that up to 9 cases of child abuse may

                            go unreported for every 1 case that’s confirmed.

Transition back to opening scenario – child in the midst of domestic violence – as police officer enters the home. Officer focuses on adults as child sits unnoticed in the background.

                            Child abuse is a tragedy that is unacceptable, but many people in regular                                                

                            contact with children overlook the signs of abuse or neglect and fail to

                            report incidents of concern to Children’s Services.

Shots of a variety of mandated reporters: a police officer, teacher, childcare operator, nurse or physician.

                            As “mandated reporters,” physicians, therapists, childcare operators,

                            law enforcement officials, teachers and other professionals who work    

                            with children are required under Ohio law to report suspicions that a

                            child may be at risk.

Return to scene with drunk driver and toddler in car seat. A police officer has pulled over the drunk driver and focuses on the condition of the driver with little attention to the child in the back seat.

Return to scene with childcare worker. She speaks with child at eye level, points to the bruised area and, showing concern, asks the child what happened. Child shrugs shoulders and retreats.

                            Mandated reporters may regularly encounter situations where children

                            are in danger of harm, but many fail to realize it and miss the opportunity

                            to report a child in need of help.

                            Children often try to hide abuse, and may have been instructed to do so

                            by their abuser. But an adult caregiver, or other mandated reporter,

                            may notice the child’s reticence to talk and inability to share a good                            

                            explanation for signs of abuse. Repeat bruising or other indications of

                            abuse cannot be ignored.

New scenario: a teacher in a classroom notices a child with his head down, looking tired and lethargic. His clothes are dirty and he looks unkempt. Dissolve to snack time as the child eats ravenously, asking for more.

                            Neglect is sometimes harder to detect but an astute adult who has

                            regular contact with a child can pick up on signs of hunger and lack

                            of care.

CU of teacher reacting thoughtfully to the child’s hunger. Teacher making phone call to report.

Teacher in conversation with principal.


                            Teachers and other mandated reporters are required as individuals

                            to report concerns about possible neglect or abuse of a child. They

                            should not rely on supervisors to make a report, even if institutional

                            policies are in conflict with the law.

Teacher interacts with students, including neglected child, during outdoor recess.

                            By becoming aware of signs that point to abuse and neglect, mandated

                            reporters can more effectively act as “the eyes of the community”

                            so that abuse and neglect are reported and children and families

                            receive the help they need.

Graphics / Music:  Signs of Abuse or Neglect.

Return to childcare scene: the caregiver questions the parent who’s come to pick up the child. The parent yanks the arm of the child and leaves.

                            As a mandated reporter, you should not act as a screener for abuse.

                            That’s the role of evaluation experts at Children’s Services. But

                            if you have concerns about a child’s well being, you must report it.

The police officer that stopped the drunk driver takes notice of the child in the back seat and makes a phone call.

                              Do Ask yourself if you have concerns of abuse or neglect.

                              Do Tell Children’s Services if your gut reaction is yes.

Teacher interacts with student who looks more alert and cared for. Formerly drunk driver is sober and plays with child at a busy park playground.

                            Early intervention provides the best hope for positive change

                            in the life of an abused child.  And Greater Cincinnati becomes

                            a better place for all of us if we reduce the amount of abuse and neglect.

Montage: reprise the role of the mandated reporter in each scene.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                            Remember: Mandated reporters are legally required to report

                            any situation where they suspect a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.


Do Ask.

Do Tell.

Do Call.


                                Do ask yourself if you have concerns of abuse or neglect.

                                Do tell Children’s Services if your gut reaction is yes.

                                Do call  -- 241-KIDS -- to report your concerns.


Music up then out.

© Meg Hanrahan                   Email:                 Phone: 513-604-9581