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April 02, 2013MILTON, Ga. – Under new laws that take effect this summer, employees and volunteers who work with city programs and who suspect children may be victims of child abuse must report their suspicions.
Milton has been ahead of the curve with their policy on the reporting, said Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge.
The new law, passed by the Georgia General Assembly last year, goes into effect July 1.
"The law expanded the definition of mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse," Cregge said. "That expansion now includes any volunteer 18 and above who is working with children. It also includes volunteer coaches."
When he came to work at Milton last year, Cregge said one of his first moves was to craft and institute a policy on reporting child abuse as well as educating volunteers on signs to look out for.
He stressed Milton has had no problems with suspected child abuse in its recreation program.
Because Milton outsources much of its recreation programs, educating those workers and volunteers is important, Cregge said.
"Any volunteer in the city has a background check once a year and once in a lifetime will get a training course on identifying and reporting suspected child abuse," he said.
The Fulton County School Board has such a training course. An online course is also offered through the governor's office.
Because he was already creating the policy, Milton is ahead of many other cities in the state in instituting this mandate.
"This is aimed at keeping kids safe and helping identify those in the community if they are indeed at risk so we can get them help," Cregge said.
Editor, Milton Herald