Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse/Neglect
If you work in one of the professions listed below, you are a mandated reporter. This means that once you suspect a child may have been abused or neglected, you are required by law to report your suspicions to Family Services—within 24 hours.
As a mandated reporter, you alone are legally responsible for making sure a report is made within 24 hours.
How do I make a report?
Call our 24-hour child protection hotline:1-800-649-5285.
A social worker will ask you questions about the situation, record the information you provide, ask you to complete a written report, and in some cases, ask you to gather more information. You can fax your written report to (802) 241-3301.
Try to have as much information on hand as possible, including:
What if I am not sure whether what I suspect is abuse?
If you are not sure whether a report is warranted, please call us for advice. You may also want to seek our advice if you are thinking about telling the parents about your report; in some cases, this could endanger the child and hinder the response.
What happens to reports received?
A supervisor reviews the reports — often the same day they are received. For each report, the supervisor must determine whether it alleges abuse or neglect as defined by state law.
According to Vermont law, a report will be accepted if it indicates:
What information may be shared with me?
If you are a mandated reporter, we will share the following information with you:
What about HIPAA?
The HIPAA privacy rule allows covered entities to disclose protected health information to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect — if the report is made to a government authority authorized by law to receive such reports.
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.
Is my report confidential?
We will not divulge your identity unless:
Where Can I Get More Information?