State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements


1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandated reporters are required to report all cases of suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse.[524] The definition of sexual abuse makes specific reference to the crimes listed in the previous section. However, abuse is defined to only include those acts perpetrated by a child’s parent, guardian, or custodian.[525]

2. Mandatory reporters

Mandatory reporters include: licensed physicians; residents or interns examining, attending, or treating children; law enforcement officers; judges; nurses; teachers and school officials; social workers; members of the clergy;[526] or any other person who has reasonable suspicion that a child has been the victim of abuse.[527]

3. Who to report to

Mandated reporters must immediately report all suspected abuse to a local law enforcement agency; the county office of the Children, Youth, and Families Department; or, in cases involving an Indian child residing in Indian country, a tribal law enforcement or social services agency.[528]

4. State response

Law enforcement and county offices of the Children, Youth, and Families Department must inform one another immediately, via telephone, of any reports of suspected abuse. Both agencies must follow this initial report with written notification within 48 hours. Whichever agency receives the initial report is responsible for ensuring a prompt investigation.[529]