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The Little Voice: Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report It

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The little voice tells you something isn't right. The little voice wakes you and keeps you up at night. The little voice makes you look at the bruises on my arm. The little voice makes you wonder, who would do me harm? The little voice grows louder as each day passes by.
The little voice makes you notice each tear that I don't cry. The little voice speaks out loud because it knew it was right. The little voice belonged to you and it saved my life.

— Anonymous 

Who is required to report child abuse?

If YOU suspect child abuse, it is YOUR duty under the law to report it.

  • The Public: Any person having cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected shall immediately make a report.
    • Examples of the public Include:
      • A neighbor
      • A friend
      • A parent
      • A guardian
      • A managing or possessory conservator
      • Any person offering housing to a child who may be subject to abuse
      • Any member of a child’s family or household
  • Professionals: Professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses, or child daycare workers that have cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected MUST make a verbal report within 48 hours. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.
    • Who is considered a professional?
      • An individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children.
    • What if my Personal Communications Are Otherwise Privileged?
      • You still have a duty to report within 48 hours. Examples include attorneys, members of the clergy, medical practitioners, social workers, mental health professionals, and employees of clinics or health care facilities that provide reproductive services. 

Topics Covered in the Handbook

  • Who is required to report child abuse
  • Why you should report child abuse
  • Types of child abuse
    • emotional abuse
    • neglect
    • physical abuse
    • sexual abuse
  • Warning signs
  • Tips for talking to an abused child
  • What happens when you report child abuse
  • Frequently asked questions
  • How to report child abuse

Click the link below for the full publication