Mother Child W Physician

Mandated Reporting

Child advocacy and protection mandated reportingChildren’s Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin are both committed to putting the well-being and safety of children first. Direct care staff, including but not limited to, physicians, nurses, social workers, technicians, and therapists, are considered mandated reporters. As mandated reporters, these professionals are legally responsible to immediately report any concerns of child maltreatment to Child Protective Services (CPS), law enforcement, or in some cases, both. If by profession you are not considered a mandated reporter, you can still report suspected child maltreatment to support the child’s well-being. Concerns for child maltreatment may likely be related to physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and/or drug endangerment.

CPS reports are made by contacting the county in which the child primarily lives. Reports to Law Enforcement are made to the police jurisdiction where the child maltreatment likely occurred. You can identify the CPS agency contact information by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families website. All reports made to CPS and law enforcement should be appropriately documented in the patient’s electronic medical record. It is best practice to have the person who received the information make the report to CPS and/or law enforcement firsthand. The mandated reporter will be asked to provide child and family demographics including names, birthdays, address, telephone, daycare, school information, and so on. When making a mandated report, it is important to provide as much detail as possible regarding your concern, including any imminent safety concerns, your personal observations, medical findings and impression, and statements made by the child and or caregiver. It is okay if you do not have answers to every question you are asked! CPS and Law Enforcement are responsible for making a determination about next steps and gathering all of the facts.

Child Advocacy Social Workers are available to answer mandated reporting questions and provide direction regarding making reports when you suspect child maltreatment.