Interactive Scenarios and Tips

Scenario 1

The school administrator has designated you, the school nurse, as the person responsible for reporting cases of suspected child abuse brought to your attention during school hours.

A teacher brings a 10-year-old boy to you who says he cannot participate in physical education because his feet hurt. He is limping, but won't let the teacher look at his feet. At your insistence, the boy removes his shoes and socks and reveals three distinct round burns on the soles of his feet. One of the burns is infected. When you ask him how the burns happened, the boy's only comment is that, "My dad said I was bad."


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 2

As the school principal, school district policy has designated you as the person responsible for reporting all cases of suspected child abuse presented to you during school hours.

The school nurse comes to your office with a 6-year-old girl who has many red dots and small welts on her body. The child explains that there are bugs in her house that bite her, especially at night. The girl appears to be in no pain, and the bites are not infected. The nurse informs you that she had made several previous attempts to address the situation with the girl's mother, who is single and recently lost her job.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 3

You are a daycare provider. One of your children tells you about the spanking she received from her mother last night. The girl tells you that her mother got very angry when she “talked-back” to her and this is what usually happens when she is “bad.”

You suspect the child has been maltreated, and following organizational policy, you take her to the administrator. There are no marks on the child and she says she is not in pain.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 4

The administrator has designated you, the school nurse, as the person responsible for reporting cases of suspected child abuse brought to your attention during school hours.

A 12 year-old boy comes to your office asking for aspirin. He is wearing an oversized sweater on an unusually warm day. He reluctantly explains that his teammate's father “was angry with him for losing the game, grabbed him by the arm, and threw him into a fence.”

When the boy's sweater is removed you find several cuts and scrapes, and it appears that his shoulder may have been dislocated.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 5

You are a program director. A child in your program comes to you complaining about a toothache. You call the mother, who agrees to take the child to a dentist. Several weeks later the child again comes to your office, and this time the tooth is obviously abscessed.

You again call the mother who says she could not get a dental appointment. You make an appointment for the next day with a dentist that works with your program and let the mother know when she can take her child for treatment.

Three days later the child still has not received treatment, and now is presenting with a fever and severe swelling.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 6

You are a grade school teacher. An 8-year old girl in your class tells you about how she has been “the mommy” to her little 2-year-old brother each night while her father (who is a single parent) is at work. You ask her if she has a babysitter to help her, and she says, "No."

No harm has come to the children. You contact the father at work, and he tells you to “mind your own business.”


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 7

You are seriously concerned about two children, ages 5 and 7, who live next to you.

The children's clothes are usually dirty and torn. Often, the children only get one full meal a day and that is usually fast food. They otherwise fill up on potato chips, pretzels, and candy, which you know is not a healthy diet for growing children. As a registered nurse, you know you are a mandated reporter of child abuse.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 8

You are a school guidance counselor; however, according to school policy the nurse is the designated reporter of child abuse. A 12-year-old girl discloses to you that she was raped by her 14-year-old brother while he was babysitting her and their younger brother.
Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 9

A child in your program confides that his neighbor has been touching him inappropriately. You are a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse.
Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 10

You are the art teacher, and one of your seventh-grade students is a gifted artist you have befriended. Over the last several months you have noticed his work becoming very dark in nature, which is matched by his increasingly sullen and withdrawn behavior.

One day, while reaching for art supplies, his sleeves pull up to reveal cut marks on his arms. When confronted, he admits he cut himself intentionally. He explains that he is “evil” and that bad things happen to anyone with whom he associates; that is what his mother has told him.

A call to his mother confirms that she feels the boy is “evil.” Your concerns that he may be suicidal are met with the statement, “…well, maybe that would be for the best.”


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 11

You are a school bus driver. While taking students to school you overhear a 16-year-old girl telling a classmate about an incident the previous evening with her father. She says her father was drinking and got so angry with her that he grabbed his hunting rifle and shot at the girl.

She brags about her ability to “duck the shot,” and run. You let the girl know you heard her, and ask if the story is actually true. She becomes a little more somber and says, “Yes.”


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action

Scenario 12

You are a high school teacher. While coming to work one day you notice one of your 15-year-old students getting out of another teacher's car about one block from the school.

When you mention it to the student, he gets a little flustered and struggles to find an appropriate answer. After a few moments, he says that he is in love with the teacher.

You suspect the student and teacher are having an intimate relationship.


Would You Do?
  • Call ChildLine
  • Make a GPS referral
  • Provide community resource recommendations
  • Call the police
  • Take no action