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Who Is a Mandated Reporter?

Posted on in Child Abuse

mandated-reporterMany individuals who work or interact with children are mandated reporters. This means that as part of their positions, they are required to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). These individuals are held to this responsibility by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. Having DCFS investigate a report of suspected child abuse or neglect involving you can be at best, embarrassing and frustrating. At worst, it can be used to permanently alter you child custody or visitation order. Preserve your relationship with your child by having your case fairly represented in court by an experienced family attorney.

Mandated Reporters Include the Following:

Most individuals who work in health care, social work, education, and law enforcement are mandated reporters under Illinois law. The list of positions that require individuals to report cases of suspected child neglect and abuse included in the law is fairly exhaustive and includes, but is not limited to, the following positions:

  • Teachers;
  • Child care workers;
  • School administrators;
  • Classroom aides;
  • Animal control officers;
  • Emergency medical technicians;
  • Doctors;
  • Physician's assistants;
  • Nurses;
  • Coroners;
  • Probation officers;
  • Law enforcement officers; and    
  • Field personnel of the Departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Public Aid, Human Services, and Corrections and Human Rights.

When an individual suspects that a child is being neglected or suffering from abuse at home, he or she can report his or her suspicions to DCFS by calling the 24-hour child abuse hotline at 800-25-ABUSE.

What Happens When a Report Is Made?

When an individual calls the child abuse hotline, a trained representative from DCFS asks questions to determine the urgency of the call and whether it warrants a full investigation. If so, DCFS will visit the home to determine if the child is in danger of harm. In cases where a full investigation is not necessary, the parent in the allegedly abusive or neglectful household may be directed toward a community-based program meant to prevent child abuse.

You do not have to be a mandated reporter to report your suspicions of child abuse or neglect. If you think a child you know is not safe in his or her home, call the child abuse hotline to make an anonymous report. If your suspicions are incorrect but your call was made in good faith, you are protected by law against civil liability.

Work with a Family Attorney in Kane County

Mandated reporters play an important role in keeping children and adolescents in Illinois safe from harm. If you find yourself having to interact with DCFS following a report, do not become angry with the individual who you think or know made the report. Instead, work with an experienced Kane County family attorney to demonstrate your fitness as a parent to DCFS and work with the agency to protect your child. Contact Goostree Law Group today to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinois.gov/dcfs/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?actid=1460&chapact=325 ilcs 5/&chapterid=32&chaptername=children&actname=abused+and+neglected+child+reporting+act.

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