As a youth-serving organization, River Valleys is required to report any suspected abuse or maltreatment of minors as applicable by Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa state laws.
- Safety and protection of girl participants is River Valleys’ and its volunteers’ top shared priority. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect the safety of girls when they are participating in Girl Scouts.
- As required by MN, WI, and IA state laws, River Valleys employees are mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
- Volunteers are responsible for the safety of girls while participating in Girl Scout activities. Girl Scout volunteers are required by River Valleys policy to report any suspected abuse or neglect to council staff.
- When a Girl Scout volunteer is concerned for the welfare of a child, the volunteer must contact River Valleys immediately. 24-hour assistance is available by calling 1-800-845-0787. River Valleys staff will then report to the appropriate authorities.
- If a volunteer believes a girl is in immediate danger, they should:
- Call 911 or the local police.
- Keep the child in their care until appropriate assistance arrives.
- Notify River Valleys as soon as possible.
- Volunteers are not, however, mandated reporters in MN, WI, or IA, and are not required to report to authorities.
- If volunteers would like to report their concerns to authorities (in addition to council staff), reports are to be made in the county where the child’s legal guardian resides.
- Minnesota: Local child protection, police department or county sheriff’s office
- Wisconsin: The county Department of Health and Family Services, the sheriff or police department
- Iowa: The Iowa Department of Human Services, county attorney or law enforcement Agency
- Any person who makes a voluntary report or assists in an assessment being made of a report is immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result from their actions as long as that person is acting in good faith when she/he makes the report.
- Any person who knowingly or recklessly makes a false report shall be liable in a civil suit for any actual damages suffered by the person or persons so reported and for any punitive damages set by the court or jury, plus costs and reasonable attorney fees.
- River Valleys considers this information to be confidential. Matters will be discussed on a need-to-know basis only, to protect the privacy of the child and the reporter.
- For confidential, risk-free advice from professional crisis counselors dedicated to the prevention of child abuse: call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.