Mandated reporters are typically defined as professionals who have regular contact with vulnerable people, such as children, that are legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the relevant authorities. Mandated reporting regulations vary by state. In 47 states, mandated reporters are designated by their profession which often includes childcare providers. In Indiana, New Jersey, and Wyoming, all persons are required to report, regardless of their profession.
Those working as nannies who have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child under the age of 18 has been abused, neglected, or is placed in imminent risk of serious harm should feel confident in reporting their concerns to the local child protective services office or law enforcement agency. To become more comfortable with the role of being a mandated reporter, nannies should take mandated reporting training courses provided by the state in which they work. After training, nannies should feel confident in the following:
What the law requires of you as a mandated reporter
How to spot indicators of possible child abuse or neglect
How to talk to children about suspected abuse
How to make a report
What happens after a report is filed
Special issues related to child abuse reporting for childcare providers
Information about State Mandated Reporter Training Courses are provided by each state. A quick search for mandated reporting child abuse and the name of your state will provide you with government links, often to the state’s Department of Children’s Services.
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Stephanie has worked as a Nanny and Family Assistant for more than 25 years. She shares her favorite nanny activities, lesson plans, book reviews, and recipes on her blog at bethebestnanny.com. She has also edited a nanny textbook, has been the Advice Columnist for Nanny Magazine since 2013, and is the US Nanny Association Newsletter Editor.