Volunteers are a vital part of student success in White County Schools. Parents and interested citizens are encouraged to join the school system in the mission to provide every student with a high quality education. During the 2012 legislative session, Georgia passed a mandated reporter of child abuse law which became effective July 1, 2012. The amended statute,OCGA §19-7-5, requires any employee or volunteer of an organization that "provides care,treatment, education, training,supervision,coaching, counseling,recreational programs, or shelter to children" to report child abuse. The law also defines a "school" as any public or private school, pre-k through technical or college level.
In order to comply with the regulations, the White County School System will provide training and certification for all of our volunteers. A person is considered a volunteer after their third visit to a school. Before the fourth visit,a volunteer must participate in volunteer training either through a Compliance Director module which can be completed online or through training conducted at the Board of Education office. During the training, volunteers will learn the following:
• How the law defines child abuse and neglect;
• What the law requires of you as a mandated reporter;
• What protections the law provides for a mandated reporter;
• How to spot evidence of child abuse;
• How to report child abuse; and
• What happens after a report is filed.
In addition,if parents/guardians chaperone field trips they must complete the mandated reporter training as well as any background checks required. The trainings/checks must be completed on a yearly basis and are valid for the current school year.
Upon completion of training, volunteers will receive a volunteer identification badge. The White County School System truly recognizes and appreciates the contributions volunteers make in our schools. Everyone associated with the White County School System wishes to encourage all those interested to volunteer to benefit the youth in our community.