Who Must Report

Mandated reporters have no choice and must report all incidents of known or suspected abuse. Others, who are not mandated reporters, have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse. Sometimes mandated reporters are unsure about making a report. They may have insufficient evidence and be unclear of the reality of the allegation. The role of the reporter is to report the suspicion and then allow law enforcement and child protective services to determine if the report is substantiated. It is enough that the victim disclosed or another person reported knowledge of the child victim's abuse.

If you have a relationship with the abused child, it is essential that you let the child know that you have to tell someone else about the abuse. If the child reported to you, and you do not inform the child ahead of time, the child will feel betrayed when an Officer or another person comes to interview them. Prepare the child to the best of your ability. If you know the name of the person who may interview the child, give him or her this information and inform the child of the role of this person (e.g., social worker, police). Make sure to reassure the child that this is to protect the child and done out of care and concern, not to get the other person (i.e., perpetrator) in trouble (although that may happen). Inform the child of the process and what may happen next. If the child is in immediate danger, intervene, report, and request help.
Different states will dictate who are mandatory reporters. These individuals are required by law to report child abuse to child protective agencies or to law enforcement. This includes:
  • Attorneys
  • Physicians, dentists, interns, residents
  • Public or private school employees
  • Ministers
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed professional counselors, family therapists, and social workers
  • Licensed nurses
  • Human services and child protection agency employees
  • Court appointed special advocates
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Certified day care and foster care providers
  • Firefighters

If public or private officials have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, they must report it. The report will then be investigated and either found valid or lacking evidence. 



Social Media