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 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:

    • Arkansas
    • Colorado
    • Iowa
    • Michigan
    • Montana
    • New York
    • Rhode Island

    Coaches as mandatory reporters
    A number of states require coaches to report abuse. These states include:

    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • District of Columbia
    • Iowa
    • Louisiana
    • Minnesota
    • Oregon
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • 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. 

      Reporting policy 

      Responding to abuse 




    Know the Rules
    For Reporting
    Additional Resources
    Effective Supervision
     About Grooming
     Preventing Abuse
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