Protecting Chicago's Children

Self-Guided Training - [View Spanish Version]

This self-guided training is intended for CPS employees who do not attend in-person training at their school or department meeting. Training is expected to take approximately one hour.

If you need training materials in additional languages, please contact Beata Arceo at

Once you complete the training below, be sure to complete the Training Completion Form via the link at the bottom of the page. This will validate your fulfillment of the training requirement.

If you have any questions or concerns during your training, please submit your question using this form (

1: Introduction

Video Length: 19:05

Please read the CPS Policy on the Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Inappropriate Relations between Adults and Students.

Focus on Section 1 of the policy, Definitions, in Parts A, B, and C (page 1). Note the six categories of child abuse and the definitions for child neglect and mandated reporter. As a CPS employee, you are a mandated reporter, and it is your responsibility to report child abuse or neglect immediately to Illiniois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Next, read the definition of sexual abuse as described on the ChicagoCAC Traffic Light. The red light defines different types of child sexual abuse, including touching and non-touching behaviors. Reflect on the full spectrum of behaviors that are defined as sexual abuse and read about the various indicators of sexual abuse. On page 2 of the Traffic Light, ask yourself if you have ever witnessed signs that a young person has been sexually abused.

It can be upsetting to know that young people are experiencing such trauma and violence. To protect them, every CPS employee must follow district policies and guidelines.

2: Grooming

Video Length: 4:59

Referring again to the CPS Policy on the Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Inappropriate Relations between Adults and Students, please direct your attention to Section 1 Part D, the definition of Grooming (page 1).

Grooming is a recent addition to CPS policy. It is important to read and understand this definition.

While this policy provides some examples of grooming, there are additional examples in the Guidelines Regarding Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries.

Please take 3-5 minutes to review these Guidelines. In particular, please closely read the sections on Electronic Communication and Travel/Transportation for detailed guidance on these types of interactions with students. Regardless of your role within CPS, you must be aware of these rules.

As mentioned in this section of the training video, action is required if you suspect or witness grooming behaviors of adults with students. Please return to the CPS Policy on the Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Inappropriate Relations between Adults and Students and read Section 2 Part E, Reporting and Documenting Grooming and Inappropriately Intimate Behaviors (page 3). This section clearly states that all CPS staff must report grooming behaviors to the DCFS Hotline immediately.

3: Preventing Sexual Abuse

Video Length: 4:14

Read the ChicagoCAC Traffic Light and review the green light behaviors listed at the top of the first page. Consider what additional preventative behaviors may look like in a school setting with students. Some examples may include:

  • Calling students by their preferred name instead of using inappropriate nicknames like “honey” or “sweetie”
  • Providing sexual health education at the school
  • Giving high fives or fists bumps to students instead of hugs
  • Taking steps to ensure students feel safe when interacting with you (e.g., keeping the door open during tutoring sessions).

4: Mandated Reporting

Video Length: 7:20

All CPS employees are mandated reporters under Illinois law and CPS policy. Mandated reporters are defined by the state of Illinois in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. CPS policy aligns with and extends beyond this state law.

Please read and review Section 2 Part C (page 2) of the CPS Policy on the Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect, and Inappropriate Relations between Adults and Students called, “Reporting and Documenting Reasonable Suspicions of Child Abuse or Neglect.”

Note that item #2 requires CPS employees to alert their principal, network chief, or supervisor after they have called the DCFS Hotline. This is a new addition to the policy and requires attention.

Staff DO NOT need permission from anyone to call DCFS, nor should they seek permission if they suspect that a student is being abused or neglected. However, following a call to DCFS, an employee must report it to their supervisor so the incident can be properly documented, student supports can be provided, and other students and adults can be protected. Please read and review the entirety of Part C on page 2 of the policy to gain a full understanding.

Please read and review page 2 of the ChicagoCAC Traffic Light for tips on how to respond to student disclosures of abuse with compassion. Remember that you must report suspected abuse and neglect to the DCFS Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE. If you have immediate safety concerns, please also call 9-1-1.

5: Support for Students

Video Length: 3:54

Illinois law and CPS policy require principals to provide support to students after sexual abuse is disclosed or revealed. Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) is an integral part of that support. Specifically:

  • ChicagoCAC investigates reports from mandated reporters by using forensic interviews with survivors of abuse. They are the only forensic interview provider in Chicago, conducting approximately 2,000 per year.
  • ChicagoCAC provides each student and their non-offending family members with support through its Family Advocacy Program.
  • Referrals to evidence-based therapy are also part of ChicagoCAC’s work for any student referred via a mandated reporter’s call to the DCFS Hotline.

Beyond this support, CPS has school counselors, social workers and other related service providers and support staff available for supporting students.

This concludes this self-guided training on sexual abuse prevention and response. Thank you for your attention to this important matter of student safety.

IMPORTANT: You must submit the Training Completion Form to fulfill this training requirement.

Once you have finished reviewing the self-guided training and viewing the related videos, you can access the Training Completion Form by clicking the button below. You will be asked to sign in with your CPS login credentials.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, March 05, 2020