All states require certain people to report child abuse. Most states have determined the following professionals must report abuse:
- Social workers
- Teachers, principals and other school personnel
- Physicians, nurses and other health-care workers
- Counselors, therapists and other mental health professionals
- Child care providers
- Medical examiners or coroners
- Law enforcement officers
Get more information at childwelfare.gov or check out our mandatory reporters chart.
When a mandatory reporter must report
Each state has a timeline for when mandatory reporter has to make a report. States have typically decided that a mandatory reporter must report when he or she either knows or has a reasonable belief that a child has been abused.
Penalties for not reporting
Many states have said that a mandatory reporter can be penalized for not reporting. Most states have made it a crime. Only two states (North Carolina and Wyoming) consider not reporting a crime.
Seven states have determined that a victim can sue a mandatory reporter who does not report. These states are:
- New York
- Rhode Island
Coaches as mandatory reporters
A number of states require coaches to report abuse. These states include:
- District of Columbia
- West Virginia
Every adult must report
If you're an adult living in Indiana, Oklahoma or Wyoming and reasonably believe that a child is being abused, you are required by law to report the abuse.
Responding to abuse