State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements


1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandated reporters are required to report all instances of suspected child abuse.[222] The statutes define child abuse to include sexual assault as defined in the penal code. However, the definition only applies to acts perpetrated by someone related to, residing with, or responsible for the victim.[223]

2. Mandatory reporters

Mandated reporters include persons in any of the following positions who, through their professional or official capacity, have reason to believe child abuse has occurred: licensed or registered professional of the healing arts or any health-related occupation; school employees; individuals working for agencies or institutions that provide social, medical, hospital, or mental health services, including financial assistance; child care providers and employees of child care facilities; and employees of agencies providing recreational or sports activities.[224]

3. Who to report to

Mandatory reporters must make an immediate oral report to the Department of Human Services or the police department if they suspect that a child has been the victim of abuse. All oral reports must be followed by a written report to the Department as soon as possible.[225]

4. State response

The Department of Human Services must notify the appropriate police department of all reports of child abuse that it receives. The Department must also provide the police and prosecutor’s office with any relevant information that would aid in the investigation and/or prosecution of the case.[226]