State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements

09/25/2000

1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandatory reporters are required to report all instances where they suspect that a child has been abused or observe any child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse.[852] The definition of abuse includes the commission, or allowing the commission, of any sexual offense against a child (including the crimes listed in the previous section). It does not include any provisions that indicate that it applies only to persons responsible for a child’s welfare.[853]

2. Mandatory reporters

Any individual who suspects that a child has been abused or observes any child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse is required to notify the appropriate authorities.[854]

3. Who to report to

Mandated reporters are required to make immediate reports to law enforcement or the field or regional offices of the Department of Family Services in all cases of suspected abuse.[855] Initial reports must be followed by a more detailed written report.[856]

4. State response

The Department of Family Services, through its field or regional offices, is responsible for investigating all reports of alleged abuse. It must initiate the investigation within 24 hours of receiving a report. In its investigation, the Department is required to work in concert with prosecution and law enforcement.[857]