Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse/Neglect

If you work in one of the professions listed below, you are a mandated reporter.
  • Chiropractor, dentist, emergency medical personnel, licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, mental health professional, osteopath, pharmacist, physician, physician's assistant, psychologist, registered nurse, surgeon, and any other health care provider;
  • Hospital administrator, intern, and resident physician in any hospital in the state;
  • School superintendent, principal, headmaster (independent schools), teacher, librarian, guidance counselor, and other individual regularly employed by, or contracted and paid by, a school district or independent school to provide student services;
  • Childcare worker, police officer, probation officer, social worker, and clergy member;
  • Residential and non-residential camp administrator, counselor, and owner; and
  • Employee, contractor, and grantee of the Agency of Human Services who has contact with clients.

Being a mandated reporter means that once you suspect a child may have been abused or neglected, you are required by law to report your suspicions to FSD—within 24 hours.

How do I make a report?

Call 1-800-649-5285 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If the child is in immediate danger, dial 911 or your local police first. Then, call FSD to make a report. 

What happens when I call?

Before you call, try to have as much information on hand as possible (e.g., the child’s name, date of birth, home address, school or child care provider, and parents’ names).

A social worker will:

  • Question you about the situation;
  • Record the information you provide;
  • Ask you to fill out a written report; and
  • In some cases, ask you to gather more information.

You can fax your written report to (802) 241-3301.

What if I’m not sure it’s abuse?

Please call us for advice, if you:

  • Are not sure a report is warranted; or
  • Are considering telling the parents about your report. In some cases, this could endanger the child and hinder the response.

What information may be shared with me?

If you are a mandated reporter, we may share the following with you:

  • Whether your report was accepted for investigation or assessment;
  • Whether a need for services was found; and
  • If an investigation was conducted, whether it was substantiated.

Can I be sued?

Vermont law provides you with immunity from civil or criminal liability as long as your report was made in good faith.

What about HIPAA?

The HIPAA privacy rule allows covered organizations to disclose protected health information to report suspected child abuse or neglect to government authorities authorized by law to receive such reports.

Is my report confidential?

We will not divulge your identity unless:

  • You give us your permission to do so;
  • Your report leads to a court or human services board proceeding;
  • A court finds probable cause to believe your report was not made in good faith and orders DCF to divulge your identity; or
  • The person substantiated for abuse requests a review of the decision, and we determine that identifying information about you can be provided without compromising your safety.

Where Can I Get More Information?