Exercises for "Scratches and Bruises"

Alice and her mother are waiting at the bus stop. The mother has a scowling face and appears to be very agitated. One hand is placed firmly on Alice's collar. She does not respond to the bus driver's greeting. Instead, she roughly pushes Alice forward into the bus. As Alice walks past the bus driver, it is obvious that she has dark bruising and scratches on her cheeks. The bus driver and bus monitor both see Alice but are uncertain about what to say or do about their suspicion.

Define the problem

  • What is the immediate problem facing the bus driver/bus monitor? Why?
  • How might this situation affect Alice's experience on the bus?
  • What is the agency's protocol for assessing possible child abuse or neglect?

Generate data about the problem

  • What do we need to know about Alice?
  • What do we need to know about Alice's mother?
  • What do we need to know about agency staff?
  • What do we need to know about state laws?

Generate ideas/alternate courses of action

  • What are some possible actions that the bus driver or monitor could take in this situation?
  • How should the bus driver and bus monitor communicate with Alice on the bus ride?
  • How can an agency prepare transportation staff to handle such situations, specifically communicating with a child in a similar situation?

Choose among the alternate solutions

  • What are some of the pros and cons of alternate courses of action to resolve the situation?
  • What would be the best course of action to take when presented with this situation? Why?
  • What do we need to know about the prevention, identification, treatment and reporting of child abuse?

Implement the solution or decision

  • Assume that this scenario has played out as written; write a conclusion that demonstrates an appropriate response on the part of the bus driver/bus monitor and other agency personnel.
  • Who might be a resource within the program that could help brainstorm potential solutions on how to handle some of these problems?
  • What sort of training is necessary to prepare transportation staff to deal with similar situations in the future?

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Last Reviewed: April 2010

Last Updated: November 13, 2014