Mandated Reporter FAQ

Printable Comprehensive FAQ | Child Abuse Protection Laws | Reporting Abuse

The following information is intended only as a supplement to Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children® training, which provides in-depth learning, tools, and practical guidelines to help adults prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Click here for more information on Stewards of Children®.

 

WHAT IS A MANDATED REPORTER?

 

A mandated reporter is a person required by law to report reasonable suspicions of abuse. Check your state's reporting laws to determine if your profession is designated as a mandated reporter - some states require all citizens to report.

 

Regardless of the specific mandated reporter law, all adults should report suspected abuse to protect all children.

 

State laws require that you have reasonable suspicion that abuse is occuring. This means you do not need proof of sexual abuse to make a good faith report to authorities.

  

 

 

 

 

WHEN SHOULD I REPORT?

State law will dictate how soon you are required to make a report. Some state laws specify that a report must be made immediately after you have reason to believe; some state laws specify within 24 or 48 hours.

 

 

WHO SHOULD REPORT?

Most states require that the person who has reasonable suspicion be the one to make the report. Do not delegate this to someone else, even your supervisor.

 


  


HOW DO I FOLLOW UP ON MY REPORT?

You can ask to be told the outcome of your report, and what actions are being taken.

 

If you are not satisfied, you can ask to speak to a supervisor at child protective services or law enforcement. If you have new information later, you can request it e added to your report.

 

 

After you have made the report, follow your organization's policy about who to notify. 

 


MORE REPORTING FAQ's

 

How should I talk to the child about the abuse?

Should I investigate the case further?

Should I tell the parents or guardians of my report?

Do I need proof to make a report?

Do I need to create a written report?

What if a child is in immediate danger?

What information will I need to provide when making a report?

Do I need to provide my name when making a report?

Are there penalties for not reporting?

What if I think I don't have enough information to make a report?

Am I liable if I make a report and it is not substantiated?