Mandatory Report Training - post

Mandatory Report Training

image in article Mandatory Report TrainingWhat is Child Abuse

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect. Under federal law, the minimum acts or behaviors constituting child abuse and neglect by parents and other caregivers are:

“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or

“An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

Abuse is commonly broken down into four components:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Neglect
  • Sexual

The concepts of #abuse_and_neglect oftentimes appear together; however, they are subtly different in meanings:

Abuse is any act of a parent or caregiver that results in serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, exploitation, or even death.

Neglect refers to parents' or guardians' failure to provide for not only an infant's or child's basic needs, but also supervision ensuring the child's health, safety, and well-being from harm.

It is to be noted that while both forms negatively affect children, abuse is almost always intentional and purposeful, while neglect can also be unintentional, depending on the parent and the situation.

Mandated Reporters

Approximately 47 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands designate professions whose members are mandated by law to report child maltreatment. Individuals designated as mandatory reporters typically have frequent contact with children. The professionals most commonly mandated to report across the States include the following:

  • Social workers
  • Teachers, principals, and other school personnel
  • Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers
  • Counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals
  • Child care providers
  • Medical examiners or coroners
  • Law enforcement officers

Since childcare providers are identified as mandatory reporters, they are required to complete mandatory report training before they are able to begin providing care for children. ChildCareEd offers several mandatory report training courses to accommodate providers across the country.

The circumstances under which a mandatory reporter must make a report vary from State to State. Typically, a report must be made when the reporter, in his or her official capacity, suspects or has reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. Another frequently used standard is the requirement to report in situations in which the reporter has knowledge of, or observes a child being subjected to, conditions that would reasonably result in harm to the child. 

Mandatory reporters are required to report the facts and circumstances that led them to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected. They do not have the burden of providing proof that abuse or neglect has occurred. Permissive reporters follow the same standards when electing to make a report.

Reporting Resources

There are ways you can help stop child maltreatment if you suspect or know that a child is being abused or neglected. If you or someone else is in immediate and serious danger, you should call 911.

  • State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers: Contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency.
  • Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: Call or text 1.800.4.A.CHILD [1.800.422.4453]. Professional crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
  • CyberTipline: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Provides information about how to report online sexual exploitation of a child or if you suspect that a child has been inappropriately contacted online. Information will be made available to law enforcement to investigate.

Provide a complete, honest account of what you observed that led you to suspect the occurrence of child abuse or neglect. Any reasonable suspicion is sufficient.

Your duty as a Mandated Reporter

As a #mandated_reporter, your duty to report suspicion of child abuse or neglect is an extremely serious one. The majority of states have laws in place to penalize any failure to report child abuse by a mandated reporter. By not doing your duty, you could be putting yourself at risk of a steep fine, time in prison, or further consequences. Nearly every State and U.S. territory impose penalties, often in the form of a fine or imprisonment, on mandatory reporters who fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect as required by law. In addition, to prevent malicious or intentional reporting of cases that are not founded, many States and the U.S. Virgin Islands impose penalties against any person who files a report known to be false. Charges range from fines to felony charges.

Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor or a similar charge in 40 States and American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Register today at ChildCareEd for your mandatory report training to ensure you are providing the safest space possible for the young children in your care.

Need help? Call us at 1(833)283-2241 (2TEACH1)
Call us