Reporting Child Abuse

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected call the Statewide DCFS Telephone Number: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437)


The Federal Register dated January 18, 1977 states, “Head Start agencies must report child abuse and neglect in accordance with the provisions of applicable state or local law." In addition, Public Law 93-247, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, mandates that all early childhood centers follow the child abuse and neglect laws in their respective states.


All employees of Regina Coeli Child Development Center (RCCDC) shall adhere to the standards and regulations as set forth in the Louisiana Children’s Code, Article 610 under mandated reporters. The staff, volunteers, and board members of RCCDC shall use all available resources to prevent any identified condition which might be damaging to the health, morale, or emotional well-being of all children it serves. In accordance with Head Start Performance Standards, so far as possible, a helpful rather than punitive attitude toward the suspected abusing or neglecting parents and/or other caretakers shall be employed.

As defined in the Louisiana Children’s Code, abuse is "the infliction by the caretaker of physical or mental injury or the causing of deterio­ration of a child." Neglect is defined as "the failure by a caretaker to provide for a child the proper or necessary support or medical or surgical or any other care necessary for the child's well-being."

Possible Physical Abuse Signs

Bruises ‑ with attention to location, size, and shape

  • Burns ‑ particularly small round cigarette type burns, or burns in shape of a curling iron, clothes iron, etc.
  • Welts or scratches
  • Head or facial injuries
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Bone fractures
  • Direct disclosures, as in child tells you that his/her parent or guardian hit him, burned him, etc.

Possible Sexual Abuse Signs

  • Marked change in child's behavior, such as extreme aggression, withdrawal, or acting out sexual play in learning centers
  • Unusual fear in child of a person/place, such as fear of a man or a bathroom
  • Multiple layers of clothing inappropriately worn on a hot summer day
  • Direct disclosure - the child tells you that she/he has been sexually abused, touched, raped, etc.

Possible Neglect Signs

  • Gross neglect of child's physical care, such as not having food, clothing, shelter, etc.
  • Medical neglect which would adversely affect the child's physical well being - well documented instances of unwillingness or inability on the part of the caretaker to provide medical care.

Possible Reportable Instances Occurring While Child is at the Center

  • Child is left unsupervised
  • 2 or more children are in a bathroom area unsupervised
  • Use of corporal punishment is inflicted upon a child