Note: this information is not meant to provide legal advice. Because laws and procedures vary by state, anyone working with young people should ascertain the specific laws that apply to them.
When do you have to report suspected abuse and neglect?
The specific details vary by state, but according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a typical rule is that “a report must be made when the reporter, in his or her official capacity, suspects or has reasons to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.” Another common standard is that a report must be made when a reporter “has knowledge of, or observes a child being subjected to, conditions that would reasonably result in harm to the child.”
Can I report suspected abuse anonymously?
Again, this varies by state. In most states, reporting can be done anonymously, and many states maintain toll-free numbers for that purpose. However, 18 states require that reporters provide their names and contact information. In three states (Connecticut, Delaware and Washington), child protection officials may request the name of the reporter.
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