Youth Services Law

Showing 7 posts from August 2020.

Mandated Reporting in a Virtual Environment

Many Georgia school systems are beginning the 2020-2021 school year in a virtual learning environment. However, the virtual learning environment does not absolve school teachers, school administrators, school counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, or school psychologists from the mandated reporting requirements for suspected child abuse set forth in O.C.G.A. § 19-7-5. As long as one of these persons has reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred, they must report to the Division of Family and Children Services within 24 hours “from the time there is reasonable cause to believe that suspected abuse has occurred.”

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Challenges Specific to Childcare & Youth Organizations

Coronavirus

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in direct response to the reality that many working individuals would be forced to miss work due to COVID-19 related reasons.  After a long spring and summer, childcare and youth organizations subject to the FFCRA are now grappling with how to bring their employees back and comply with this new law.

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Cyberbullying

With so many children learning virtually this fall and otherwise having to keep in touch with their friends by electronic, cyberbullying is likely to be a bigger problem than usual. According to an industry study last year, almost 30% of children had experienced some sort of cyberbullying before the pandemic isolated everyone. Another study estimates that cyberbullying has almost doubled since the pandemic began.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Signs Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act Into Law

Coronavirus

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law S.B. 359, the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act. The Act limits the liability of businesses, churches, schools, individuals, healthcare facilities, childcare providers and healthcare providers (among others) for certain legal claims under Georgia law related to COVID-19.  Generally, the Act provides businesses protection from liability if an individual claims to have contracted COVID-19 while on the premises IF:

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Pods and Paperwork

With the coronavirus closing so many schools this fall, “learning pods” have become very popular. Many childcare centers, day camps, and other organizations have developed programs to provide on-site learning pods for children, with tutors, computers, and dedicated rooms. Other groups do not have the physical plant but provide tutors to meet with groups of children in private homes. If your organization is gearing up to meet this need, do not forget some important basic principles.

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What Are You Working Towards?

There are some things that don’t matter, and there are some things you can’t control. Your focus should be on neither! With a limited amount of energy to expend each day, why waste it?

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COVID-19 Vaccination and State School/Childcare Vaccination Laws

Coronavirus

Mandatory vaccination laws were first enacted in the early 19th century, beginning with Massachusetts’ smallpox vaccination law in 1809. Generally, courts have ruled that the policing power of States absolutely includes reasonable regulations, such as vaccinations laws, established by State legislatures to protect public health and safety. State vaccination laws are mostly applied to children for school or childcare enrollment or employees of certain health care facilities. With this in mind and in anticipation of a vaccine for COVID-19, many wonder if children and healthcare employees will be the first population sectors in which States will require compulsory vaccination under existing laws. If that is the case, many schools, childcare facilities, parents and community leaders may question if it is a “reasonable regulation” to vaccinate a population sector least affected by COVID-19, being children, to protect the public health and safety of all.

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