Reporting Suspected Abuse

State law requires certain professionals to make an immediate oral report to law enforcement authorities (for example, to Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services or local police) whenever they have reasonable cause to believe that a child (person under 18 years of age) or vulnerable adult (e.g., an adult dependent or developmentally disabled person) has suffered abuse or neglect. For vulnerable adults, abandonment and financial exploitation must also be reported.

Staff required to report generally include those who, in the regular course of their employment, are involved in teaching, counseling, nursing, or administration. When such staff have reasonable cause to believe that such abuse or neglect has occurred, the staff person shall report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency by telephone at the first opportunity, but in no case longer than 48 hours after there is reasonable cause to believe the child or adult has suffered abuse or neglect. This reporting requirement does not apply to the discovery of abuse or neglect that occurred during childhood if it is discovered after the child has become an adult. However, if there is a reasonable cause to believe other children, dependent adults, or developmentally disabled persons are or may be at risk of abuse or neglect by the accused, then the reporting requirement still applies. For additional information or for consultation, contact the University Counsel in the Office of Planning and Administration.

For purposes of the child abuse/neglect mandatory reporting law, "abuse or neglect" means the injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation (e.g., prostitution or obscene filming) of a child by any person under circumstances which indicate that the child's health, welfare, or safety is harmed, or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child.

In the case of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, the report should include the name, address and age of the suspected victim; name and address of the victim's parents or persons having custody of the victim; the nature and extent of the suspected injuries, neglect or sexual abuse; evidence of any suspected previous injuries; and any other information that may be helpful in establishing the cause of a victim's injuries and the identity of the alleged perpetuators. Reports of abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or abandonment of a vulnerable adult should contain similar information, as well as the name and address of the person making the report.