State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements


1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandated reporters are required to report abuse, including sexual abuse.[566] 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, custodian, or caretaker.[567]

2. Mandatory reporters

Any person or institution that suspects that a child has been the victim of abuse must make a report to the appropriate authorities.[568]

3. Who to report to

Mandated reporters must report suspected abuse—orally, by telephone, or in writing—to the Director of the Department of Social Services in the county where the victim lives.[569]

4. State response

The Director of the Department of Social Services is responsible for initiating an investigation within 24 hours of receiving any report of suspected abuse.[570] If the initial investigation indicates that the victim was abused, the Director must notify the district attorney and the appropriate local law enforcement agency within 48 hours of receiving the report. Within 48 of receiving notification from the Department, the local law enforcement agency must begin a criminal investigation of the report. Law enforcement must coordinate with the Department in its investigation.[571]