I’m Not a Mandated Reporter, What Should I Do?

I’m not a mandated reporter—I’m just a private citizen. Can I call the Hotline if I suspect someone of child abuse or neglect? Yes, you can—and you should! Anyone—a concerned family member, a relative, a neighbor, a babysitter, a member of the clergy, or any other concerned citizen—should call the Child Abuse Hotline if he or she has a reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected.

While some people are mandated to report, Child Protective Services (CPS) encourages calls from people who know the child, and who are not necessarily mandated reporters. Many infants and preschool-aged children are at home with parents or other caregivers, so they may never be seen by a mandated reporter.

You may be the only one who knows about the child’s situation and the possibility of abuse or neglect in the child’s life. If this is so, you may be the only person who can help the child.

Nearly 40% of the reports received by Monroe County Child Protective Services come from people like you—concerned citizens who see a child who is in pain or in danger. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-342-3720. Your call may save a child’s life.

How do you report?

What situations should raise a “red flag” for me about the possibility of child abuse or neglect?

How do I know if my suspicion is reasonable?

How do I call the Hotline?

What will Child Protective Services do when I call?

What if I’m not sure?