Handle with Care Maryland
Changing Marylandand for the Better

Handle with Care for Law Enforcement


  1. Determine Whether Children Are Present
    • Name
    • Age
    • Relationship to parties
    • School
    • Demeanor
    • Present during incident
    • Physically harmed

  2. Health & Safety Checks on Children
    • Visual Observation
    • Asking the Child
    • Determine if treatment is necessary
    • Mandated reporting to Child Protective Services remains a requirement (for information on how to report - please click here)

  3. Talking With Children About the Incident - As appropriate to the law enforcement investigation

  4. Avoid Interviewing Witnesses in the Presence of Children

  5. Follow-up Interviews - is a Child Advocacy Center needed?

  6. Documentation – Child’s name, age and school should be documented by the responding officer.

  7. Avoid Subduing or Arresting Someone in the Presence of Children

  8. Separating Children from the Caregiving Parent/Guardian - done with care if required

  9. Resources – Provide parent/guardian information:
    • Child Advocacy Centers
    • Victim Resources

  10. Daily Review of Reports
    • Reports will be reviewed each morning by the law enforcement agency.
    • A “Handle with Care” notice will be generated for each child listed in each report.
    • A designee at the law enforcement agency will ensure the “Handle with Care” notice is promptly forwarded to the designated school official(s) via email.

  11. Quarterly Handle with Care Core Team Meeting (this will happen monthly for the first several months following implementation)

    At least quarterly, key HWC stakeholders will review and evaluate HWC and make recommendations for improvement as necessary.

    • Law Enforcement
    • School
    • Advocates
    • Counselors
    • Case workers
    • Community partners
    • Parents
    • Others

The team will assess the following to determine the effectiveness of HWC: academic achievements, truancies, and disciplinary reports. The meeting will not focus on specific cases.


Handle with Care: Roll Call Video