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(1) Each YCF shall require each staff member, employee, intern, and volunteer to read and sign a statement that clearly defines child abuse and neglect and outlines the individual's responsibility to report all known or suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect of any youth to the department within 24 hours.

(2) Any YCF staff member or employee who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that an incident of child abuse or neglect has occurred shall report within 24 hours of the incident to the YCF administrator, or a person designated by the YCF administrator, and to the state child abuse hotline (866) 820-5437 as required in 41-3-201, MCA. The YCF shall fully cooperate with any investigation conducted as a result of the report.

(3) A therapeutic group home must report abuse or neglect to the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors as required in 53-21-107, MCA.

(4) Each YCF shall have written policies and procedures for handling any suspected incident of child abuse or neglect, including but not limited to:

(a) a procedure for ensuring that the staff member suspected does not continue to provide direct care until an investigation is completed;

(b) a procedure for developing a safety plan approved by the department which protects the youth and staff until the investigation is complete;

(c) a procedure for taking appropriate disciplinary measures against any staff member involved in an incident of child abuse or neglect, including but not limited to:

(i) termination of employment;

(ii) retraining of the staff member; or

(iii) any other appropriate action by the YCF geared towards the prevention of future incidents of child abuse or neglect.

(5) Any serious incident involving a youth must be reported in writing the next business day to the person or agency which placed the youth and to the department's licensure bureau.

(a) The report must be in writing and must include but is not limited to:

(i) the date and time of the incident;

(ii) all youth and staff member(s) involved; and

(iii) a description of the incident and the circumstances surrounding it.

(b) A copy of the report must be maintained at the YCF.

(6) The YCF shall cooperate with all licensing investigations, which may include private one-on-one interviews with staff and residents

History: 52-2-603, 52-2-622, MCA; IMP, 41-3-201, 52-2-603, 52-2-622, MCA; NEW, 2011 MAR p. 387, Eff. 3/25/11.

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