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 abuse, including sexual abuse of a child.[379] However, sexual abuse is defined to only include those acts perpetrated by the victim’s parent, household or family member, or someone else responsible for the victim’s care.[380]

2. Mandatory reporters

Mandated reporters include: health practitioners, police officers, educators, humans service workers, and any other individual who suspects that a child has been the victim of abuse. Lawyers and clergy members are not required to report abuse if they learn of it through in their professional capacity, and they are bound to maintain confidentiality.[381]

3. Who to report to

Health practitioners, police officers, educators, and humans service workers must make an oral report of all suspected abuse, as soon as possible, to the local office of the Department of Human Resources or the appropriate law enforcement agency. Within 48 of learning of the abuse, these mandated reporters must also file a written report with the Department and the local State’s Attorney.[382]

All other mandated reporters are required to make a report, either orally or in writing, to the local office of the Department or the appropriate law enforcement agency.[383]

4. State response

The Department of Human Resources and law enforcement must notify one another of any reports they receive.[384] These two groups, along with the State’s attorney are required to implement a joint investigative procedure for investigating reports of sexual abuse. The investigation of all reports of sexual abuse must be initiated within 24 hours of receipt.[385]