In all fifty states there are procedures and statutes that a mandated reporter must follow in order to report child abuse. These are mandatory, and mandated reporters are legally bound to report any suspected child abuse to the proper authorities using the statues and procedures of their state and district. Below are the procedures for California, and such reasonable suspicions are listed in penal code 11165.6 of California law. These include physical harm done to the child by means which are not accidental, sexual abuse, neglect as stated by related penal code, willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment, unlawful corporal punishment, or abuse or neglect of a child in out-of-home care.
If child abuse is reasonably suspected, a mandated reporter must make a report of this to the proper authorities by telephone “immediately or as soon as possible” as stated by penal code 11166. This report must be made by the mandated reporter and responsibility cannot be transferred to anyone else. This report must be followed by an official written report and a completed Department of Justice form (obtained through the school district office, or a local law enforcement office) to be sent within thirty-six hours of the reception of information concerning abuse. Within this report certain information must be present by law unless it is unknown.
1. Name of reporter, their business address, and telephone number, as well as the position which makes them a mandated reporter.
2. The child’s name and address, their present location, and applicable school information such as grade and class.
3. The names and telephone numbers of the child’s parents or guardians.
4. The information regarding suspicion of abuse and the source from which that information was obtained.
5. Any other relevant names, addresses, or telephone numbers of persons who may have abused the child.
Once all relevant information has been given and sent to the proper authorities the report becomes known as the mandated report and copies of this can be obtained through either the district office or an appropriate agency. All these are filed and kept as records through these offices. Additional paper work regarding the case will be filed through the agency after consultation from law enforcement, medical personnel, welfare associates, or probation officers. Any other reports, including the investigation report will be taken care of by the aforementioned authorities.