Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention Council

How to Make a Report
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Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

What Must be Reported

The Reporting Act defines and requires mandated reporters to report the following types of child abuse, including when these types of abuse occur in out-of-home care:


Child Neglect

Severe Neglect-negligent failure to protect a child from severe malnutrition or medically diagnosed failure to thrive or intentional failure to provide food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

General Neglect- negligent failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision where no physical injury has occurred (PC 11165.2)


Child Abuse

Sexual Abuse- including both sexual assault and sexual exploitation. Sexual assault includes sex acts with children, intentional masturbation in the presence of children, and child molestation. (PC 11165.1)

Sexual Exploitation- Including preparing, selling or distributing pornographic materials involving children, performances involving obscene sexual conduct and child prostitution (PC 1116.1)

Physical Abuse- Inflicted by other than accidental means on a child (PC 11165.6)

Unlawful Corporal Punishment or Injury- Is willful inflicted of cruel or inhumane corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic physical condition (PC 11165.4)

Willful Cruelty or Unjustifiable Punishment- Any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or any person having care or custody of child willfully causing or permitting the health of a child to be placed in a position where the health of a child is endangered. (PC 11165.3)


What May Be Reported

The Reporting Act encourages but does not require that mandated reporters report known or suspected infliction of mental suffering upon a child or the endangerment of the child's emotional well-being in any other way. (Penal Code 11166(b)) Department of Justice, appropriate law enforcement agency or Children and Family Services, and the district attorney. In addition, a child welfare agency must cross-report by telephone immediately or as soon as possible to the appropriate licensing agency any known or suspected child abuse that occurred while the child is being cared for in a child day care facility or is under the supervision of a community care facility and involves a licensed child day care staff person or a community care facility licensee or staff person. If a child is in protective custody, the employee of the child protective agency who knows or reasonable suspects that the child is a victim of abuse must provide a report to the child's dependency attorney.

The child welfare agency must send a written report to the licensing agency within 36 hours of when it receives the information. When the investigation is complete, the child welfare agency must send the licensing agency a copy of its investigation report and any other relevant materials.

Maintaining Abuse Reports

The California Department of Justice maintain s a statewide index, called the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), that contains information from all reports of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and severe neglect investigations in which an investigation determined the allegations to be sustained (true) or unsubstantiated (inconclusive). The index does not track cases determined to be unfounded (false). The Department of Justice notifies the agency that submitted the report of any history maintained in their statewide index. Such information is also available to a district attorney who maintains statistical data concerning suspected child abuse in California.

When a Report is Made
  • immediately by phone, or as soon as practically possible
  • in writing within 36 clock hours on the appropriate form (pc 11166)
Where and How to Report
Alameda County Emergency Response Unit
Children's Protective Services
24 Hour Hotline
510-259-1800

or, if the Child is at Immediate Risk, Contact:
Police Department, Sheriff - Where the Incident Occurred
Call 911

For Further Information Contact:
Alameda County Emergency Response Unit
Children's Protective Services
510-259-1800
24-hour hotline
Alameda County Child Abuse Prevention Council
P.O. Box 70803, Oakland, CA 94612
510-780-8989

Contents of the Report
  • name of the reporting party
  • nature and extent of the injuries
  • name and present location of the child
  • other information requested by the child protection agency
Mandated Reporters Must Report Incidents
  • They have observed
  • They have knowledge of
  • They have reasonable suspicion to believe occurred
REASONABLE SUSPICION means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain such a suspicion based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing upon training and experience to suspect child abuse.

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