Mandated reporters must call the Child Abuse Hotline when they have a reasonable suspicion that child abuse or neglect has occurred. However, a call to the Hotline can’t automatically be registered as a report. This is because the Child Abuse Hotline staff must assess each call according to five criteria based on state law. If a call does not meet these criteria, CPS cannot investigate and follow-up with the situation.
You may have heard stories about mandated reporters calling the Hotline, only to discover that CPS could not take action. You may not be familiar with the five criteria and you may not know what to expect when you call in a report. You may have questions about whether you should tell the child’s family that you called the Hotline about them.
In addition, agencies, institutions or workplaces that employ mandated reporters should have written protocols and procedures to guide mandated reporters through the reporting process.
You may not know about the protocols and procedures for child abuse reporting at your agency, institution or workplace. It may be helpful to contact your supervisor before calling the Hotline.