Durham Regional Police and the Durham Children’s Aid Society signed a new Child Abuse Protocol on Oct. 28, that clearly places the safety and needs of child victims as the primary objective.
Chief Constable Mike Ewles and Durham CAS Executive Director Wanda Secord signed the 24-page document at a special ceremony held at police HQ. Although the DRPS and the Durham CAS have been working closely and successfully together for years, an older agreement needed updating. The new protocol formally entrenches the working relationship and satisfies legislative requirements.
"This protocol is all about maximizing our effectiveness as partners," said Chief Ewles. "Practical language and clearly defined roles will assist both DRP and CAS to deal with ever increasing and more complex cases."
Some of the highlights of the protocol include:
• Reciprocal reporting of all suspected severe abuse and neglect cases between the police and the CAS, no matter which one receives the initial contact
• A commitment to use a joint investigative team, consisting of a designated police officer and child protection worker. The team would work together and share information from the initial investigative stages to the final disposition of the case
• Rules that govern how joint interviews of children take place, with the primary focus on supporting the safety and wellbeing of the child while minimizing the impact of the investigative process on the victims
• Policies that govern how information can be shared and retained between the agencies under various legislative frameworks
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Durham CAS Executive Director Wanda Secord and Chief Ewles sign the protocol (JPG file, 406.9K bytes)
Chief Ewles elaborates on the protocol with local media outlets (JPG file, 372.7K bytes)