County ‘enhances’ child abuse reporting guides

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The County Office of Education announced it will “enhance” its child abuse notification process in conjunction with a foundation that started after a toddler’s death. On Wednesday, James Anderberg, executive director of administrative services for the Placer County Office of Education, said the office is “pleased” to release a joint statement between the education officials and Scott and Lorena Juceam. The Juceams’ 17-month-old daughter Hannah Rose was the center of two criminal trials during which her former nanny, Veronica Martinez-Salcedo, was charged with shaking the toddler to death. Two separate juries could not reach a unanimous verdict and at the end of the second trial in July 2008, the District Attorney’s Office announced it would not seek a third trial and Salcedo was set free. In May 2009, Scott Juceam announced his family filed a claim against the County Office of Education after someone told Lorena Juceam that a teacher shook their then 4-year-old son with special needs and Hannah’s twin, Benjamin. At the time, school officials said there was no merit to the claim and the Placer County District Attorney’s Office said it would not file any criminal charges. The teacher, Barbara Montague, was placed on leave. Anderberg did not return a call seeking further comment Wednesday. Attempts to reach Montague were unsuccessful. According to the release he issued Wednesday, the office “instituted an enhanced process” for parent notification and incidents of alleged child abuse. He added that the county office is also supplementing its child abuse identification and notification training with materials supplied by the Hannah Rose Foundation on Shaken Baby Syndrome. “Our No. 1 concern is the safety of our students and we welcome any improvements to ensure that all students are safe in our schools,” Anderberg said in the release. The Juceam family also issued a press released via their representative Alyson Willey. The release stated that last year the family began the process of filing a lawsuit against the county education office but reconsidered and started working with the county to find a resolution. “This partnership with PCOE will ensure that children’s safety is the most important focus of our efforts,” Scott Juceam said in the release. “This agreement by the county and our family is a great example of resolving differences when the safety of our children is at stake.” ~ Jenifer Gee