Handle With Care for Law Enforcement

1. Determine Whether Children Are Present

  • Name
  • Age
  • Relationship to parties
  • School
  • Demeanor
  • Present during incident?
  • Physically harmed

2. Health & Safety Checks on Children

  • Visual Observation
  • Asking the Child
  • Determine if Treatment is Necessary
  • Mandated Reporting to CPS

3. Talking With Children About the Incident

4. Avoid Interviewing Witnesses in the Presence of Children

5. Follow-up Interviews

6. Documentation – Child’s name, age and school/agency should be documented by the responding officer.

7. Avoid Subduing or Arresting Someone in the Presence of Children

8. Separating Children from the Care Giving Parent/Guardian

9. Resources; Provide parent/guardian information:

  • Child Advocacy Centers
  • Victim Resources

10. Daily Review of Reports

  • Reports will be reviewed each morning by the law enforcement agency.
  • A “Handle With Care” notice will be generated for each child listed in each report.
  • A designee at the law enforcement agency will ensure the “Handle With Care” notice is promptly forwarded to the designated school official (via cell, fax, text or phone).

11. Quarterly HWC Team Meeting

At least quarterly, key stakeholders will review and evaluate and make recommendations for improvement as necessary.

  • Law Enforcement
  • School
  • Advocates
  • Counselors
  • Case workers
  • Community partners
  • Parents
  • Before and After School Programs
  • Others

The  HWC Team will assess the following to determine the effectiveness: academic achievements; truancies; and disciplinary reports. The meeting will not focus on specific cases.