In an earlier blog, we discussed the importance of recognizing the signs of child abuse and neglect in virtual environments. Hand-in-hand with recognizing those signs is reporting any suspicion of abuse and neglect to the proper authorities. 

Youth-serving professionals and educators are mandatory reporters in every state – this has not changed. In some states, everyone is a mandated reporter. You must immediately report any reasonable suspicion of abuse to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Hotline in your state. A full list of hotline numbers by state is available by clicking here.

Making the call notifies the proper authorities and helps to ensure that families receive the essential service(s) that they need.  Calling the hotline is not a punitive measure for parents and caregivers. The last thing that Child Protective Services wants to do is to remove children from their families. This is about protecting children and families.

If you fail to make a report of child abuse or neglect, you may face civil liability including hefty fines,  and in many states, you can be arrested and face criminal charges. Many states also prohibit any act of dissuasion or other pressure from making a good faith report.  

You are not required to notify the parents or other persons legally responsible for the care of the subject of the report. In fact, in some cases, alerting the parent may place the child/ren in danger and hinder the investigation.

Legislation regarding mandatory reporting varies from state to state. The team at the Beau Biden Foundation is available to assist you in protecting children. 

If you want to learn more about how to help protect children through virtual learning environments, please email us at [email protected] for more information.

Additional Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  800-273-TALK (8255)

CyberTipline:  800-THE-LOST or https://report.cybertip.org/

Dating Violence Hotline:  800-787-7233.  For those who are unable to speak safely can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

National Parent Helpline: 855-4-A-PARENT (1-855-427-2736)

PO Box 7819, Wilmington, DE 19803