Suspected Child Abuse Reporting

  • Definition of Child Abuse: Any conduct, acts, or omissions that endanger a child’s physical or emotional health and development. A child is any young person under the age of 18.

    Types of child abuse:
    • Physical abuse – any non-accidental act resulting in injury such as cutting, twisting limbs, shaking, hitting, beating, burning, biting, or any other extreme physical mistreatment.
    • Sexual abuse - incest, any forced sexual activity, exposure to sexual stimulation or sexual exploitation of a minor.
    • Neglect – negligent failure of a parent or caretaker to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision or a pattern of failure to provide for the child’s emotional needs.
    • Emotional abuse - constantly blaming or demeaning; excessive yelling or shaming; frequently interacting with a child in a hostile manner.

    NOTE: It is not up to the reporter to investigate or decide if the child's complaint is valid or not.

    1. Suspected Child Abuse Reporting Procedures for School Personnel

    School personnel who suspect child abuse must report according to the child abuse reporting laws. If you know, observe, or reasonably suspect that a student has been a victim of physical or sexual abuse or neglect, you are required to report.

    By law, any mandated reporter must:
    1. Make a verbal report to the 24-Hour Child Abuse Hotline. You can reach the 24-Hour Child Abuse Hotline by calling (916) 875-5437 (875-KIDS).
    2. Complete a Suspected Child Abuse Form (SS8572).
    In case of an emergency always call 911 for law enforcement.  Additional information can be found at: Sacramento County Child Protective Services.

    2. Suspected Child Abuse Reporting Procedures for Parents/Guardians

    The California Department of Education (CDE) provides information to assist parents or guardians in determination of whether or not suspected child abuse may have occurred at a school site. Parents and guardians of pupils have the right to file a complaint against a school employee or other person that they suspect has engaged in abuse of a child at school site.

    The information may be accessed directly at the CDE website: Child Abuse Reporting Procedures for Parents and Guardians.
Last Modified on June 26, 2014