Fast Exit

December 2, 2023 Dec 02, 2023 3 min read

Checklist for Parents of Child Abuse Victims: Preparing for Conversations With a Teacher


  • If you are the parent of a child who is experiencing or has experienced abuse from another parent, family member, child, educator, etc., this checklist is designed to help you prepare to speak with your child’s teacher(s) about providing relevant support.

Be aware of duty-to-report laws

The most important thing to be aware of before talking to your child’s teacher about any abuse your child is experiencing or has experienced is that teachers are mandated reporters. In other words, if a teacher is given any reason to believe that a child is being abused in any capacity (even if there is no evidence), they are legally responsible for reporting the abuse to the relevant authorities. If you have not yet reported the abuse to the authorities yourself, you may want to do so ahead of speaking with any of your child’s educators.


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Consult the school counselor

Because teachers are not necessarily trained to deal with victims of trauma and abuse, you may want to consider opening up a dialogue with your child’s school counselor prior to speaking with their teacher(s). A counselor will be equipped to help you develop a plan for speaking with other staff at the school and can also serve as a key resource for you and your child as you navigate the healing and recovery process.


Determine your child’s needs

Before speaking with your child’s teacher(s), get clear on what kind of support your child is needing at school and in the classroom. The teacher will likely want to know what specific things they can do to support the child, such as giving them extra time to complete assignments, excusing absences for mental health appointments, etc. By determining your child’s needs ahead of time, this will help you communicate yourself clearly when speaking with your child’s teacher.


Get clear on expectations and boundaries

In addition to determining your child’s needs, you will also need to determine your own expectations for your child’s teacher(s). This could include things like asking the teacher to update you on a weekly basis about your child’s behavior or progress in the classroom or requesting that they refrain from hugging or making physical contact with your child. Whatever your expectations and boundaries may be, you will want to communicate them clearly upfront.


This could involve practical things as well, such as letting the teacher know that your child’s other parent is not allowed to contact or visit your child. If there are any other important safety factors your child’s teacher needs to be aware of, be sure to outline these ahead of time.


Boundaries can also involve requesting discretion and confidentiality from your child’s teacher. It’s likely that you will not want the teacher speaking at will to other staff members or students about what your child is experiencing, so it’s important to make it clear with them upfront that you expect privacy on this matter.

For more help navigating your role as the parent of a child who has experienced abuse, check out “I Found Out My Child is Being Sexually Abused Online. What Should I Do?”

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