State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements


1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandated reporters are required to notify the appropriate authorities of all cases of suspected abuse.[599] The definition of abuse makes specific reference to children who are victims of sexual activity that constitutes a crime listed in the “Sexual Offenses” chapter of the statutes. The definition does not include any provisions that indicate that it applies only in those cases where the defendant was the victim’s parent, guardian, or custodian.[600]

2. Mandatory reporters

Mandated reporters include the following individuals who encounter cases of suspected abuse through their professional or official capacity: physical and mental health providers; attorneys; child care administrators and employees; school teachers, employees, authorities; social workers; and clergy members.[601]

3. Who to report to

Mandated reporters must make an immediate report to the public children services agency (usually the Department of Job and Family Services) or a municipal or county peace officer in the county where the victim resides or where the suspected abuse occurred. Initial reports can be made by telephone or in person and, if requested, must followed by a written report.[602]

4. State response

The local public children services agency (usually the Department of Job and Family Services) is responsible for initiating investigations of reported abuse within 24 of receiving a report. The local public children services agency must coordinate its investigations with law enforcement—it must have a memorandum of understanding with law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, juvenile judges, and any other relevant public children services agencies in the county.[603]