Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
Who should report allegations of abuse or neglect?
The Department of Children and Family Services encourages everyone to report suspected child abuse and neglect, however, certain professions are mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect.
The reporter's identity is confidential, but a name should be given so the Department could follow-up contact with the reporter if necessary.
The reporter is free from civil or criminal liability for reports of suspected child abuse or neglect made in good faith.
What are the criteria for reporting suspected child abuse/neglect?
· The report pertains to a child under the age of 18 years.
· The report alleges abuse, neglect or imminent risk of harm to the child.
· The alleged perpetrator is:
· a parent or caretaker
· a relative or other person living in the home
· an educator, volunteer, or employee of a recreational/organizational setting who is responsible for the child; or any individual providing treatment, care or supervision for the child
What information should be reported?
The nature of specific incident(s) you are reporting and
· Date(s) and descriptions(s) of the injuries or dangers
· Identities of perpetrator(s) and their relationship/s to the child
· Witnesses to the incident(s) and how they may be reached
· Details of any physical evidence available
· The perpetrator's current access to the child
· Present condition/status of the child (for example: in need of medical attention)
· The location of the child
· Statements from the child(ren) when possible
What happens when I report child abuse?
Children and Family Services (CFS) social work staff determines how to proceed with an investigation by assessing the referral information and focusing on present and potential future risk to the child. An assessment tool assists the social worker to determine how to respond and what priority to assign that referral.