Responding to suspicions of abuse and neglect is one of the most challenging jobs a child care provider can face. Whether you see a bruise that looks suspicious or a child tells you someone has hurt him, you may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do next.
Remember that child care providers are mandated reporters of abuse and neglect in most states. You have a legal responsibility to report your suspicions, and can be held legally responsible if you don't report suspected abuse and a child is injured or dies.
Anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect should report it. We all are responsible for the well-being of children. Anyone can call the national hotline (1-800-4ACHILD) anonymously to report a concern or ask a question. Reports are confidential. Your name is not revealed to the person being investigated during the investigation.
If you are a child care provider faced with reporting and responding to suspected abuse or neglect, the following articles may help you.