What Happens After I Call?
If a call from a mandated reporter meets the five criteria and the Child Abuse Hotline registers the report, CPS must follow up and investigate. According to state law, this investigation must start within 24 hours of the report but often starts immediately.
An immediate assessment is made of the need to take the child from the home and place him/her in protective custody. This rarely happens; only if the child is in imminent danger of harm.
A CPS investigation involves interviewing the parents or persons legally responsible. The child, siblings, another household member, and other involved adults are also interviewed. The child may be examined for physical signs of abuse or neglect. The CPS caseworker also contacts the mandated reporter who initiated the call. State Law also provides protection for the rights of parents or others legally responsible for the child.
Finally, a determination will be made of whether the report is indicated or unfounded, depending on whether there is enough evidence of abuse or neglect. If abuse or neglect is proven, a Service Plan for the family will be put into place. CPS will monitor the execution of this plan.
As a mandated reporter, you may not be aware of the CPS team’s actions after you make a report. You may also be worried about the family, and whether your call will make things better for them. Click on the sidebar questions to find out what happens after you call.